Deputy feels fortunate, after being forced off the road by wrong way driver

FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Franklin County Deputy Brandon Erisman was driving on Missouri State Route A looking for impaired drivers during the early morning hours of February 12th.  Little did he know a wrong-way driver was about to force him off the road.

Police dash-cam video shows the incident.  Erisman was forced off the road and crashed his police cruiser into a ditch.

“I didn’t want to go left because I didn’t know if he would correct himself at that point and go back into his lane,” said Erisman.  “So I went right.”

The driver was never apprehended but the dash-cam video highlights the potential dangers of erratic driving.  Erisman feels fortunate he was out looking for impaired drivers that night.  He said the average driver might not have been able to react in time.

“From the time I hit my brakes to start slowing down and watch the other vehicle, and to when I hit the ditch was four seconds,” Erisman said.

The Franklin County Sheriff hopes the video will encourage citizens to call 911 whenever they see an erratic driver.

“Give our office a call,” said Sheriff Steve Pelton.  “We’ll definitely get the enforcement to that area in an attempt to save lives potentially and make the roadways safer.”

Erisman was not injured but his cruiser was damaged.  The deputy said he’s not the only one who experienced a close call.

“Shortly after this incident my wife was driving home during the day coming home from work and she said in that same spot somebody was coming towards her head on,” said Erisman.  He said that driver was passing a car in a no passing zone. “She almost had to do the same thing but luckily they got over in time for her to continue.”