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'Most terrifying experience of my life': Motorist recounts encountering wrong-way driver

Wrong Way
Posted at 5:37 PM, Feb 22, 2022

CLEVELAND — Although extremely rare, wrong-way crashes continue to be a reported problem for drivers out on the road.

Now, one driver hopes her own story from the road will raise awareness about this issue.

At the end of a shift working the NBA’s All-Star weekend, Nicole Yeary noticed a wrong-way driver coming toward her while she was traveling on I-90 Saturday near Euclid.

“I saw something in the distance, and I couldn't tell what it was,” Nicole Yeery of Rocky River said. “It was getting very close very quickly and there were two cars on each side of me. I didn't know what I was going to do. I slowed down very quickly and just missed clipping this car. It was probably the most terrifying experience of my life.”

Investigators told News 5 there were several 911 calls reported, but there was no specific crash tied to this case.

For investigators, they’re reminding everyone that while wrong-way drivers can be unpredictable, the best defense is awareness out on the road.

“The sooner you can see any obstacle or object in the roadway or coming at you in the road, you’re able to react better, so decreasing your speed and trying to get safely off the roadway as you can,” Sgt. Ray Santiago of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Back in December, News 5 took an in-depth look at wrong-way drivers after two prominent incidents occurred in just one week.

At the time, News 5 reported how the Ohio Department of Transportation has taken numerous steps to limit wrong-way drivers, including installing additional "wrong way" signage at entrance and exit ramps and even going as far as to install multiple "layers" of signs. Additionally, crews have installed the signs closer to the ground and better in drivers’ fields of view.

ODOT has also installed new wrong-way driver detection systems that activate flashing lights to warn a driver that they are going the wrong way. The system also automatically notifies ODOT and the local police department. Cleveland has one such system located near West 28th Street and the Shoreway, a location that once had a high number of wrong-way driving incidents. However, it isn’t prudent nor cost-effective to put the high-tech systems at all of the state’s 5200 ramps statewide.

RELATED: Recent wrong-way driving incidents highlight ongoing challenges in preventing a rare but deadly problem

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