Frantic driver calls 911 after his accelerator gets stuck

A Florida driver was chased down an Interstate for nearly 40 miles, after he called the emergency services claiming that the accelerator pedal was stuck to the floor.

Joseph Cooper, aged 28 from Palm Coast, called 911 to inform an operator 'my gas pedal is stuck'. He reached speeds of 95mph on the I-95 freeway. Suggestions from emergency operators to turn the vehicle off or shift into neutral were not heeded, with Cooper saying 'I can't, ma'am, I tried that already. I'm trying to hold on to the wheel and talk to you at the same time."

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But BMW, the manufacturer of Cooper's 2003 X5 SUV, has released a statement alleging it was 'implausible' that the accelerator became stuck.

"We would be happy to work with the Florida State Police to investigate the cause of this incident," the manufacturer said, but cast doubt on Cooper's inability to stop. "All BMW vehicles, including the 2003 X5 described in this incident, employ an electronic accelerator pedal which uses software logic to override the accelerator whenever the brake pedal is pressed while driving.

"Also, the accelerator pedal in BMW vehicles is hinged at the bottom and mounts to the floor. Therefore, an object or floor mat cannot slide under the accelerator pedal and jam it.

"The vehicle could also have been stopped by two additional means: by placing the transmission in neutral and coasting to a stop and/or shutting off the ignition without removing the key."

The chase lasted for 40 minutes, and nobody was injured. Florida police attempted to stop the vehicle using tyre-puncturing stinger devices, and eventually bought the vehicle to a stop using a PIT manoeuvre to spin it around.

Alvaro Feola of the Florida Highway Patrol said that Cooper had done everything right in the situation. "He called 911, he wore a seatbelt, he kept the dispatch aware of the mile markers. Thank God in this situation nobody got hurt," he said.

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