ROXBURY - New Jersey State Troopers helped save a disoriented driver from serious injury after he led police along Route 80 from Allamuchy Township to Roxbury.
A trucker reported seeing a black Pontiac with Pennsylvania plates driving erratically in the eastbound lanes of Route 80 on Wednesday at around 9:15 p.m. Trooper Michael Butler saw the car travelling about 35 to 40 mph in the right shoulder before it began crossing all the lanes.
A few minutes later, trooper Jin Shin joined the pursuit, using his public address system to try to get the driver to pull over.
"He seemed like he was disoriented," says Shin. "It seemed like he was talking to somebody actually."
Both troopers followed the car for miles, trying to keep the driver in the far right lane and minimize the risk to others on the road. The driver exited the highway onto Howard Boulevard, and troopers used their cars to block intersections and keep other drivers away.
The man hit a mailbox and kept going, but it slowed him down.
"I think we both saw the opportunity," says Butler. "We saw what had to be done."
Butler stopped his cruiser in front of the car, jumped out and ran toward the driver. "I was able to open the door, put the car into park and remove the key from the ignition," he says.
The troopers say the 63-year-old Pennsylvania man was not intoxicated, but suffering from some kind of medical emergency. He was taken to the hospital, where officials say he's improving.