Wrong-way driver narrowly avoids collision in Hemet

HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- An apparently distraught driver wandered across all lanes on a highway in Hemet, drifting directly into the path of oncoming traffic until bystanders were able to help her and secure the vehicle.

Video shot by a witness shows the car driving on Highway 74 Tuesday night. It veers off from its own side of the road to the left across the lanes of oncoming traffic, which was able to safely stop in time.

The car continues to drift, eventually ending up on the opposite shoulder.

When bystanders rushed over to help the driver, she appeared distraught and began yelling at them, at one point stepping on the gas as the wheels spun out in the dirt.

Eventually the bystanders were able to enter the car and put the vehicle into park, then shut off the engine.

Hemet police say there was no criminal violation involved. They described the incident as a medical emergency and said the woman was brought to a local hospital.

Nieves Acosta said he had called police about 15 minutes before shooting the video.

He and his wife had earlier noticed the woman in her car and had thought something was wrong with her. He tried talking to her and said she was crying hysterically for about 10 minutes.

Then she took off again and Acosta and his wife followed her for several miles as she drove slowly and erratically, eventually ending up on the wrong shoulder.

"I'm glad other people involved themselves in trying to stop the oncoming traffic because it could've been worse," Acosta said.
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