Given the sticky situation she was in, Lauri Ulvestad of Ames, Iowa, should consider herself extremely lucky for making it out alive when the accelerator pedal of her 2011 Kia Sorento crossover got jammed as she was driving up Interstate 35 in Missouri last week. The 47-year old woman told KCCI-TV in Des Moines that she tried everything from turning off the key, to shifting out of drive and slamming on the brakes, but nothing worked. “I knew I was going to die,” said Ulvestad. “I didn’t have any doubt about. I really thought I was going to die … and no matter what I did, I couldn’t slow it down.” Her only option was to call 911 and ask for help. The sheriff’s deputies and state troopers responded immediately attempted to shift traffic in her path as the woman tried to avoid other vehicles in front of her while reaching speeds of up 120mph (193 km/h). “It was accelerating faster and faster. And I was looking at my GPS, and the number was going up and up and up,” she said. “My foot isn’t even on the accelerator. The emergency brake is on all the way. I’m trying to move the brake, but it’s not working.” After a terrifying 59 miles (94 kilometers) and 35 minutes, the woman managed to release the accelerator and hit the brake and finally come to a stop ending the wild ride. Patrol spokesperson Sheldon Lyon gave praise to the woman for the way she handled the situation. “Not only to drive fast, but to go into the median, pull back up into the passing lane and hit that asphalt lip — and not overcorrect — it was really amazing to see her do that repeatedly,” Lyon told CBS News. However, Lyon pointed out that he was also disappointed at some drivers who stayed on the left lane of the interstate and didn’t move over immediately even when approached by the police cars. “Every close call was caused by people who wouldn’t get out of the way for the lights and sirens,” said Lyons. “They ended up with near misses several times.” Kia said that it is looking into the incident and plans to release a statement.
If you follow the break, you’ll find video footage of the incident filmed by the dash-cam of the patrol vehicle.