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CHP report seemingly sides with Sikes on case of the Runaway Prius

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Filed under: Hybrid, Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety, Hatchback, Toyota


In reality, the California Highway Patrol isn't taking sides with anyone regarding the recent speeding Prius of Jim Sikes. But the CHP doesn't see any reason to doubt Sikes' version of events that led to his hybrid reaching speeds of around 90 miles per hour, apparently unable to bring the barreling vehicle to a stop. Also of note is the fact that a Border Patrol agent had also responded and was leading the Prius with its emergency lights on when the CHP officer arrived.

The officer that responded to the scene states that he "could see the driver sat up off his seat indicating that he was possibly applying the brake pedal with his body weight... His back was arched and both hands were pulling at the steering wheel." A short time later, the officer positioned his patrol car in front of Sikes' Prius when he "noticed that the Prius' speed had dropped dramatically" before coming to a complete stop on the highway. According to Sikes, this happened after he applied both the standard and parking brakes.

Paramedics arrived on the scene and found that "Sikes' blood pressure and pulse rate were very high." Another interesting tidbit is the the officer encouraged Sikes to speak with the media, despite the fact that the driver indicated he preferred not to. Later at the station, the officer took a statement from Sikes, who described his Prius as 'feeling funny' under braking, saying that the "whole car was shaking and vibrating" when the brakes were applied.

Sikes also claims to have manually pulled up on the gas pedal three separate times with no effect, and he was afraid that shutting the car off would cause the steering to lock up. The officer reports seeing the car's brake lights on and off intermittently, smelling the scent of worn brakes and seeing that the pads were worn completely down after the event.

CHP spokesman Brian Pennings has said that it is the CHP's position that no evidence has emerged to doubt Sikes' version of events. See the CHP officer's complete report in our image gallery below. For a slightly different view, click here and here to see what Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found after inspecting Sikes' Prius.

[source: California Highway Patrol, USA Today]

CHP report seemingly sides with Sikes on case of the Runaway Prius originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Mar 2010 19:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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