A Florida driver lost control of his vehicle, causing him to drive nearly
100 miles per hour for 40 miles on February 13th around 1 pm. The driver, Joseph Cooper, was alone in his BMW SUV on the
I-95 near Vero Beach when the incident happened. Cooper called 911 and
informed the dispatcher that his gas pedal was stuck, causing him to speed
along the interstate as fast as 95 mph.
Florida Highway Patrol responded to the call and attempted to help Cooper
stop the vehicle safely. The dispatcher asked if he was able to switch
the car into neutral, but he replied “I can’t, ma’am,
I tried that already. I’m trying to hold onto the wheel and talk
to you at the same time.” Although highway patrol officers were
able to clear the road, for the most part, there were still obstacles
Cooper had to face.
At one point, Cooper told the dispatcher that he almost hit a vehicle and
can be heard yelling at the other vehicle to “get out of the way”
on the recorded 911 call. Fortunately, officers were able to stop Cooper’s
vehicle with the help of spiked stop sticks.
Officers threw the spiked stop sticks onto the road, and after two failed
tries were able to pierce Cooper’s left two tires. However, the
stop sticks only slowed the vehicle down to roughly 40 mph. The vehicle
continued to drive, now only on the rims of the wheels, until it finally
came to a stop. The entire ordeal took Cooper more than 40 miles.
Lt. Alvaro Feola of the Florida Highway Patrol reported that nobody was
injured in the incident, luckily. Officers also said Cooper did the right
thing by calling 911 for assistance. He was wearing his seatbelt at the
time, he had tried to switch the car into neutral, and he attempted to
cooperate with attempts to stop the vehicle. However, things could have
turned out very differently in such a dangerous situation.
When questioned about the incident, the BMW spokesperson called the lodged
gas pedal “improbable,” and suggested that there were safety
systems in place to prevent such an incident. Unfortunately, in this case,
it seems those systems may have failed. The spokesperson went on to explain
that there are numerous ways to stop a vehicle with a stuck gas pedal,
including shifting the car into neutral, which failed to work in Cooper’s case.
For more about this story, visit abcnews.go.com.
Joseph Cooper was exceptionally lucky to have survived the incident without
injury. However, many faulty vehicle victims are not so fortunate. Faulty
gas pedals pose a serious risk to drivers, their passengers, and everyone
else on the road. It could easily lead to a collision with another vehicle,
an object, or a road hazard.
Contact Norman Taylor & Associates to discuss your legal options if you think you have a defective vehicle.