'Wrong-Way Smugglers' Endangering I-8 Drivers

Residents Fear For Lives

Wrong-way drivers are causing more and more collisions on a San Diego freeway, and residents are concerned a lot of innocent people are in jeopardy, 10News reported.

Smugglers have discovered that if they drive the wrong way on Interstate 8 near Buckman Springs for a couple of miles, they can avoid a border patrol check point.

When the check point is open, smugglers exit off the Interstate 8 westbound lanes, drive down an embankment and then enter the eastbound lanes, all while driving against traffic with their lights off.

Wade Rowley, a Buckman Springs resident, said smugglers are also using the Buckman Springs Road off-ramp to get on the freeway's eastbound lanes.

"There are a lot of residents who have children with activities in town who are coming home on activity buses and so forth. A lot of people are really endangered by wrong-way drivers one the wrong side of the freeway," Rowley said.

Rowley said smugglers have discovered border patrol officials and California Highway Patrol officers do not always pursue them when driving in the wrong direction.

However, smugglers do not always get away. Two weeks ago, 19 undocumented migrants were injured in an accident involving a "wrong-way smuggler."

Nancy Flaff, another resident, is worried that if nothing is done to stop wrong-way drivers, more residents will be injured.

"I'm staying more on the right-hand lane. I'm more aware, especially after dark," Flaff said.

Cal Trans has put up lights to help spot wrong-way drivers. However, some believe that is not enough.

"The lighting isn't enough," Rowley said.

Rowley said a fence between the east and westbound lanes is needed. Spike strips on the off ramps is another idea.

A spokesperson for the CHP said it is impossible to catch every wrong-way smuggler. When they do spot someone, officers sometimes decide not to pursue them if they think it will put more people in danger.

Print this article Back to Top