Bypass accident caused by wrong way driver - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Bypass accident caused by wrong way driver

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Police can't say how frequently they see it, but they say a driver driving the wrong way on the bypass definitely happens, and it happens more than we may think.

For instance, Thursday afternoon a woman headed east in the west bound lanes after getting on at the Elm Road exit. With so many cars going the right way on a regular basis, would you be prepared for one going the wrong way?

Bill Wagner has been teaching driver's education for over 41 years. He's been teaching at Frick's Drivers Education for almost two decades. A situation like this is one he prepares his students for. "Defensive driving is basically an attitude thing, how did I get my self in this situation in the first place?"

Wagner says knowing your surroundings at all times is key, distracted driving doesn't allow enough time to avoid a car coming straight at you. "The first thing I'm going to do is hit my brake and slow down then I am veering sharply to the right. I want to go into the ditch."

He says trying to grab the driver's attention may be more difficult than it appears and honking or waving to an oblivious driver may only increase their distraction. But he says for the safety of all, you must try. "I'm going to do anything I can to get their attention. Do anything you can."

The 66-year old female driver caused only one accident while she drove more than eight miles in the wrong direction. The gentleman involved in the crash is fortunate to not be injured.

"He was lucky he was able to move out of the way, looked up at the last minute saw that she was coming at him, was able to swerve, unfortunately he kind of did ping-pong with the walls." Said Donald Reppert of the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department.

Police say the driver going the wrong way was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs; just a case of disorientation.

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