Prius driver’s 911 call: ‘My car can’t slow down’ | SummitDaily.com

Prius driver’s 911 call: ‘My car can’t slow down’

California Highway Patrol dispatcher Leighann Parks talks about helping a driver James Sikes with his runaway Toyota Prius at a news conference held Tuesday, March 9, 2010 in El Cajon, Calif. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
AP | FR59680 AP

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) – The driver of a Toyota Prius that sped out of control on a San Diego County freeway sounded panicked at times as he told a dispatcher about a stuck accelerator.

The California Highway Patrol released audio Tuesday of two 911 calls spanning 23 minutes that detail James Sikes’ attempts to slow his car down as it reached speeds over 90 mph.

Sikes often didn’t respond to the dispatcher’s instructions during the calls recorded Monday. One call included repeated pleas for Sikes to throw the car into neutral and turn off the ignition. Sikes tells the dispatcher, “My brakes are smelling. … My brakes are burning.”

Sikes told authorities that the accelerator malfunctioned as he drove on Interstate 8. The car reached 94 mph before a CHP officer helped get the Prius driver to slow down and turn off the engine.


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