Crime - Sacto 911

Highway 99 driver says she slammed in crash barrel to stop runaway car

Freeway crash barrels did the trick on Highway 99 when a motorist said her car would not slow even when she stepped on the brake.

The 20-year-old driver told the California Highway Patrol she was driving through Chico about 12:30 p.m. Monday in her Chevrolet Aveo southbound on Highway 99 at about 65 mph when she tried to exit at Cohasset Road. She pressed on the brake but the car would not slow.

The driver decided to stay on the freeway and placed the car in low to reduce her speed. However, the revving of the engine alarmed her so she put the Chevy back in drive.

Applying the emergency brake slowed the vehicle to 55 mph but by this time she was coming upon slower traffic near Skyway Road.

To avoid a collision, she intentionally steered her car into the sand-filled crash barrels, which are designed to stop a vehicle in a short distance at a controlled rate. The driver complained of pain.

She was transported to the hospital. The vehicle was impounded for inspection.