PHOENIX- It was a close call for a DPS sergeant almost hit head-on by a wrong-way driver on the 202 San Tan Freeway.
Sgt. Matt Kunda says he was on his way to work Wednesday morning when a red truck going in the wrong direction nearly hit the vehicle in front of him and then his DPS vehicle.
“I mean he was coming head at me,” said Kunda.
Sgt. Kunda immediately tried to stop the wrong-way driver, identified as 73-year-old Richard Elliott, but he wouldn’t obey commands.
DASH CAM VIDEO: Wrong-way driver caught on dash cam
“I changed positions… making it fully known that I’m behind him with lights and sirens, you know.. and then he waves at me,” added Kunda.
About 3 miles later and with help from DPS Trooper Jordan Stevens, Sgt. Kunda was able to do a PIT maneuver and stop Elliot. He was arrested at gunpoint.
“He knew we were behind him and for whatever reason he didn’t change his behavior or driving behavior,” said Kunda.
In court documents, the wrong-way driver claims he had been lost for some time and was swerving around an accident, which was really swerving around Sgt. Kunda, who was trying to stop him.
Court documents also state that Elliot had many mood swings and had defecated in his pants multiple times.
Elliot faces two felonies for endangerment.
According to DPS, there have been 35 wrong way crashes on Arizona highways so far this year. Of those, 16 people have died.
A total of 924 wrong-way incidents have been reported so far this year on Arizona highways, and there have been 63 wrong way DUI arrests.