3 flats but no collision as lost driver ‘ramps’ the roundabout
A family in Lamar became worried Thursday when an 87-year-old relative didn’t make it back from Springfield as expected and listed him as missing or endangered.
He was “found” that night, actually at 2:45 a.m. Friday, by Webb City Police Officer Gavin Gannaway.
“I parked my vehicle on the shoulder of the westbound lane of traffic and began to watch traffic entering and exiting the roundabout,” Gannaway wrote in his report. “At around 0245 hours I witnessed a vehicle traveling at a fast pace coming up behind my vehicle in the westbound lanes. I was able to get a radar reading of 60 miles per hour. I then noticed the vehicle was not slowing down as it entered the roundabout. I changed the direction of radar and got a reading of the vehicle’s speed. The vehicle was traveling at 55 miles per hour when it drove through the center of the roundabout.
“At this time I activated my emergency lights and began to drive towards the vehicle. After the vehicle went through the roundabout the vehicle entered the eastbound [wrong] lanes of traffic and continued to drive in the oncoming lanes. I then began to follow the vehicle in the westbound lanes. As we approached Hall Street the driver of the vehicle began to pull over to the south side of the road. As I went past the vehicle to get in front to block the vehicle the driver then began to continue to drive. I then drove to Main Street and made a U-turn to get my patrol car in the eastbound lanes. I was able to position my vehicle in front of the vehicle. At this time the driver stopped the car in front of Take-A-Break.”
Officer Gannaway further reports that when he asked the man for his driver’s license he pulled a $100 bill out of his wallet. Eventually, the man found his license, which identified him as the man listed as missing from Lamar.
EMTs and firefighters came to the scene, and the man’s vitals were said to be all good. The man was then taken by patrol car to the police station to wait for his family to take him back to Barton County.
According to the report, the man’s vehicle had three out of four flat tires and heavy scratches down the side of the passenger side.
Police Chief Don Melton says it’s not unheard of for a driver to go straight through the roundabout.
In fact, he says just after it was opened there were a couple of guys from Louisiana driving through during the middle of the night and came upon the roundabout without taking their cruise control off. “They ramped it doing at least 70 mph. Luckily, no one was injured.”
Melton estimates there have been half a dozen times that a driver has taken the shortest route through the roundabout.