TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is credited with stopping a wrong-way driver over the weekend.
The driver is in custody after being arrested Monday in Chickasha.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster says troopers responded to the call about the driver late Friday night in Oklahoma City on I-240 near Western.
"As soon as the trooper saw the vehicle coming, the trooper positioned herself to try and stop that vehicle," Foster says. "The vehicle was not going to stop. The only option that she had was to try and disable that vehicle and she crashed into that vehicle trying to drive him into the wall and stop him."
Troopers say 35-year-old Gabriel Yeatman drove off after the trooper stopped him from going the wrong way. Another trooper used a tactical maneuver but still didn't stop him. Troopers say Yeatman fired shots at them before crashing near an apartment complex and running away.
Foster says overall, wrong-way driving is becoming more common.
"We are seeing a significant rise, especially in the metropolitan areas on the interstate," Foster says. "And the people that we are running into driving the wrong way. This is not just 'Oh I took the wrong exit ramp, let me turn around,' they're traveling at a high rate of speed."
He says most wrong-way drivers are usually driving impaired.
"It's not just alcohol. We are seeing combined alcohol and legal substances, alcohol and illegal substances."
2 News Oklahoma also wanted to know if troopers are trained specifically in how to stop wrong-way drivers.
Foster says troopers aren't trained specifically on how to stop wrong-way drivers, they do advise them to do what is reasonable to keep the public safe. He says what happened over the weekend is a testament to the men and women who work in law enforcement — they are willing to put their lives on the line to protect others.
"The trooper was very heroic in placing herself in between her and innocent people, knowing there's a high probability of severe injury to her."
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