WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The drama unfolded along a Kansas highway after two men are nearly sideswiped by a vehicle they believe is operated by a drunk driver. The two men couldn’t have guessed what would happen next and what they would find out about the driver.
It happened around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 23, when Carlos Romero and his father, Ramon, were heading to work. They were driving along southbound I-135 when they saw a silver Toyota Prius fading lanes across the highway.
“Just two Mexicans going to work like any other day,” Carlos Romero said about his father and himself. “We noticed she was nodding off, so we followed in case she crashed and needed help.”
Carlos began recording the woman’s vehicle with his smartphone while his father drove, staying close enough to keep an eye on the vehicle but maintaining a safe distance. The men contacted law enforcement to make them aware of the driver’s erratic movements across the highway.
“She almost sideswiped me and my dad passing the Pawnee exit on I-135,” Romero told dispatch. “She overcorrected and hit the guardrail.”
The Prius driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, exited southbound I-135 at Southeast Boulevard, briefly leaving the road and narrowly avoiding two road signs before entering the correct lane.
The Romeros followed the driver for almost another two miles, watching her come close to hitting numerous guardrails and highway dividers. The men began considering the situation might have been more than a drunk driving case.
Just as the vehicles began to approach MacArthur Road, the driver collided with a traffic light at the intersection. While Carlos finished his call with Sedgwick County dispatch, his father Ramon leaped into action, immediately checking on the driver for injuries.
Kansas Highway Patrol arrived shortly after the collision. “We left the scene after the trooper told us she had a pulse, and EMS was on the way,” Romero told KSN.
Medics would discover that the woman driving the swerving Prius was not intoxicated, but was reacting to a new medical prescription. Relatives of the woman said she suffered a torn aorta during the crash but is thankful the woman left the incident with her life. The woman is expected to leave the hospital in early July, according to family.
The family didn’t want to release the name of the prescription involved to keep the driver’s medical information safe. The driver’s sister told KSN the family is grateful for the two men and that the driver does plan to reach out to them to say thanks when she is fit enough to do so.
The family who has been looking in on the driver at a local area hospital since the accident wants to remind the public to look after each other and family. “Check on your loved ones. Make sure they are doing okay with their health,” said a member of the family. “Sometimes, health conditions arise, and you’re none the wiser until something unfortunate happens. This has been a difficult time for us, and we appreciate all the prayers.”
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