Officials Release New Details in Runaway Car Incident

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April 10, 2013

Officials have released the 911 tape from two college students who jumped from a moving car on Interstate 81 Tuesday afternoon.

Driver Amy Guevara and her passenger, Sean Wies, were in a 1998 Mazda Protege on Interstate 81 when they say the brakes stopped working and the car kept accelerating. They were headed south on Interstate 81 in Augusta County.

They tried taking the car out of gear, pumping the brakes, and pulling the emergency brake, but nothing worked.

Here are some portions of the conversation that Wies had with the 911 dispatcher:

Wies: We're hitting the brake and it's not stopping. So we're just kind of... We can't stop.
911: I'm sorry, you're in a vehicle that you can't stop?"
911: Did the emergency brake help at all?
Wies: No. Did the emergency brake help at all? It's not.
911: It's not helping.

After a few minutes, Virginia State Police troopers arrived and tried to surround the car.

Wies: Amy it's ok, Amy it's ok. Amy you have to calm down.
911: Tell her the trooper's right behind her, she'll be fine.
Wies: The trooper's behind us.
911: And how fast are you going now?
Wies: We're going 80 now.
Wies: Is there anything that can happen, ma'am? Is there anything we can do?
911: No we've tried everything we can think of. The trooper's right there.

As the car passed near Staunton, it reached speeds close to 100 miles per hour. That caused the driver to scream out.

Wies: We're going to hit it, stop! Ma'am what do we do?
911: What's going on?
Wies: We're behind, we're next to the trooper. Amy stay calm.
911: Stay calm, they're going to try to stop you.

Just south of Staunton, the car started approaching some traffic. Guevara and Wies decided to take the car into the median and jump out. When they jumped out of the car, police say it was going between 30 and 40 mph.

Caller: Amy, Ok, ok ok, get out, get out, get out. Get out.

As Wies jumped out of the car, there were rustling noises on the phone. Police say Wies was dragged a short distance in the median.

Wies and Guevara were both taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not severe.

Troopers brought the car to a stop by ramming it into a guardrail after Wies and Guevara jumped out.


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