ODOT driver stops wrong way drunk driver
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 23:00:12 GMT —
When Ohio Department of Transportation driver George Seambos started a midnight shift, he expected a standard night of salting and plowing area streets. But that all changed a couple hours into the shift.
"I was heading up towards the Michigan line. And all of the sudden I see headlights coming at me," recalled Seambos. "We were both in the same lane, doing opposite directions."
The ODOT veteran positioned his large salt truck so that drivers behind him would be safe from a man driving the wrong way on US-23. The wrong-way driver was travelling at 65 miles per hour.
"I knew I couldn't let this guy get behind me and hit somebody head-on behind me," said Seambos. After he blocked the northbound lanes, the wrong-way driver used a turn-around to get back on the southbound side and continue on in the correct direction.
Averting a potential disaster, Seambos tried to watch where the man was going but could not catch up to him. "I didn't see no sight of him so I took a right and went back to my normal route. Then I came across him at a traffic light."
By chance, Seambos had come across the man at a stop light at the next expressway exit of Monroe Street. He says that when the light turned green the man just sat there. He said it was time to act.
"I put my truck in front of him again, and went to make contact with him to see if he was OK," he said.
He says the man seemed clearly not ok. That's when he called the police.
The 911 call was recorded and in it you can hear Seambos' voice: "He was going the wrong way and I got him to get back on the right way. I got him here at the red light and he is drunk as hell. And I got his keys from him."
Shortly after the call was made, police arrived on the scene and took the man into custody. He was charged with drunk driving.
Seambos is now back to running his route for ODOT, and though some would call this act heroic, this 18-year state employee says the split second decision was something that had to be done. "It was quick thinking," he said. "I didn't have much time to think. I just thought I had to do what I had to do to make sure the situation was safe for everybody, including him."