Wild ride caught on tape

August 21, 2008 8:07:10 AM PDT
Two Houston men documented an erratic driver on an HOV lane Wednesday morning. Other drivers saw it too. Daniel Gracia and Jason Thompson are coworkers at the same firm and carpool almost every day. But their recent drive along the I-45 HOV lane was not anything they expected.

"My first reaction is he's going to hurt himself or somebody else," Gracia said.

On the video the driver in front of them can be seen swerving back and forth in the lane. At one point it appears the right side of his car strikes the inside barricade.

The men say the driver drove like this for about 20 minutes getting dangerously close to the car in front of him. He finally exited in downtown Houston where another driver alerted a METRO police officer that she was being tailgated. What happened next shocked the men completely.

"[The officer] never pulled out a ticket book for riding alone and just let him drive off and even after he drove off he was still swerving," Thompson said.

METRO police say once the officer was alerted he did investigate. The driver reportedly told the officer he had been on his cell phone. Having not witnessed the swerving and smelling no alcohol, the officer let the driver off with a warning.

"Are there things we should have done differently, if we think that's the case we'll have that conversation," said Chief Tom Lambert of the METRO Police Department.

The driver's wife tells us he'd recently been experiencing medical problems leading to blackouts and dizziness.

Whatever was to blame for his driving, Gracia feels the officer should have done more.

"Even if it was a medical condition, he was still in no condition to drive and should not have been allowed to," he said.

If you encounter erratic driving, METRO police say to call:

HOV Lane HERO Hotline
713-921-HERO
MPDServices@ridemetro.org

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