Caught on cam: Drunk driver swerves across I-85 traffic

An apparent was caught on video swerving across lanes and narrowly missing cars.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NBC Charlotte has exclusive video of an apparent drunk driver crossing lanes and narrowly missing other cars.

But the viewer who shot the video says she tried desperately to get law enforcement to help get the driver off the road and got nowhere.

The couple who shot the video say other drivers were having to pull over just to get out of the car's way and yet when they called 911, no one ever came to help. 

The video is downright scary.

Trooper John Burgin says, “Obviously, that is somebody extremely impaired, needed to be taken off the road.”

Michelle Jones and her husband were on their way home from the Clemson game to Charlotte Sunday morning. They were in South Carolina when they first encountered the driver.

They say he ran off the road several times, would overcorrect and cross three lanes of traffic.

“The way he was driving, obviously, that’s a prescription for a fatality to happen.”

Michelle says she called for help repeatedly; first, South Carolina Highway Patrol, then 911, and finally, North Carolina Highway Patrol when they crossed state lines-- still, she says they never got any help.

“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised to hear that. We face some challenges there especially when you’re on the interstate traveling 65 miles an hour, you make up a lot of distance pretty fast and by the time that caller calls in and they’re in one jurisdiction, five minutes later in a different jurisdiction.”

On top of that, NBC Charlotte checked and learned Sunday morning there was another issue: there are supposed to be seven troopers on duty in the Charlotte area, but there were only two; he others were helping out with the flooding and the state fair. 

“If you have a trooper that’s even 20 miles behind you, that takes some time to catch up to you and that’s the challenge we face if we only have a couple troopers working."

Turns out the driver apparently did wreck in Gaston County; authorities say he ran down an embankment and that’s when police were finally called.

Rankin Sanders was charged with DWI. No one was hurt.

“It was just a matter of time [before] he was going to crash the way he was driving.”

But even the trooper admits there’s no easy solution.

“It sounds like it’s a losing battle, it can be a losing battle. They say for every one drunk driver we catch 200 get away and that’s one of the reasons, not enough of us to go around.”

So what should you do if you're on the road near a drunk driver? Troopers say it’s still important to call in but stay back and don’t try to pass the driver.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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