Spring Lake Heights Administrator catches erratic driver on dash-cam video
He's more than just the business administrator in Spring Lake Heights. On his way home from work Friday John Barrett, who lives in Brick Township and is an accountant by trade, served as a key eye witness to an erratic driver on I-195.
Barrett's dash-cam video (you can see above, courtesy of NBC-4 New York) caught a driver swerving between lanes, onto and off of the shoulder's of the road and side-swiping cars, including a white SUV driven by a Manasquan woman trying to get home, for about 17-miles at speeds of nearly 100-mph.
Barrett, who is also the Director of Finance in Hamilton Township (Mercer County), was on his way home from there around 5:00 pm near Exit 8 on I-195 when he noticed some dangerous driving by a car on the road.
"I got behind him, called 9-1-1 to report what I thought was an intoxicated driver and then continued to monitor him at a safe distance reporting his location to the state police," Barrett tells Townsquare Media New Jersey. "State Police did a great job in intercepting him."
The driver also reportedly destroyed a highway sign (near Exit-13), spun out and almost ended up in the face of oncoming traffic.
"This driver was absolutely detached from reality it seemed, he was going off the road, back and forth and one time he went off the road around Exit 16 or so and I thought he was going to be coming into oncoming traffic," Barrett continued telling TSM-NJ. "When he did make the U-turn and came off the grass, I can see in his eyes from a bit of a distance that this guy was absolutely in a daze, he had about an a thousand yard stare in his eyes as he got back onto I-195 and continued eastbound."
Barrett kept a safe distance and had his hazard lights flashing behind the erratic driver who slowed down due to another motorist.
"If it weren't for an 18-wheeler that he got behind and started to slow down near the end of the pursuit...he might have gotten away," Barrett told TSM-NJ.
He's reportedly facing criminal charges for the heroin and syringe possession in addition to citations for multiple traffic violations.
Looking back at the chase, Barrett said he was aware of the situation he was in and what he was about to do.
"I knew that I was taking a controlled risk in trying to keep up with him, but at certain points in time where he was accelerating at speeds past 100-mph, I took no opportunity to keep up with him for my safety as well as the safety of other people," Barrett said.
New Jersey State Police have not yet returned a request for comment on the investigation.
Barrett has since received praise from his borough's police department.
Dan Alexander and Adam Hochron contributed to this report.
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