Eldery man drives the wrong way on I-5 in South Bay, crashes at median

Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 21:12:41-05

SAN DIEGO - It was a close call for drivers on Interstate 5 in the South Bay Tuesday morning when an elderly man drove the wrong way on the southbound lanes.

Authorities received the first call at around 10:27 a.m., and the ordeal ended almost nine minutes later just south of Dairy Mart Road when the driver crashed into the median.

The 10News Breaking News Tracker was there as California Highway Patrol officers questioned the elderly man who looked confused.

At one point, it appeared one of the officers had to stop him from getting back into his van.

Before crashing into the median, the man sideswiped two cars and didn't stop.

A driver who called 911 reported seeing the man driving about 80 mph at one point.

Tuesday's incident is the latest in a series of wrong-way crashes plaguing San Diego freeways.

Just last week, someone died in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 805. Two weeks before that, a driver going the wrong way died in a two-car crash on I-5 at Balboa Ave.

A few weeks ago, a wrong-way driver whose headlights were off nearly hit Glenn Martin on I-5.

"Something inside my heart said move over to the slow lane. The second that I slid over, that car came barreling through, barely missed me and then hit the car next to me," said Martin.

Last year, there were 384 reported wrong-way drivers in San Diego and Imperial counties. Thirteen people were killed in San Diego as a result of wrong-way driving crashes.

"I'm just thankful to be alive," said Martin.

Caltrans has started making enhancements to off-ramps it hopes will better alert drivers that they're going the wrong way.

At Interstate 15 and El Cajon Blvd., an off-ramp there appears to be new and has larger warning signs. On the ground are red reflective pavement markers lining the off-ramp.

Improvements are also slated for both I-8 and I-5.