Police officers rush to help SUV without brakes on Van Dyke Freeway in Shelby Township

Officers use squad cars to maneuver SUV to safety off busy road

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The call came in as a reckless driver. What it really was: a 49-year-old man behind the wheel of a sports utility vehicle with no brakes and no way to stop as he neared the busy intersection of 27 Mile Road and the Van Dyke Freeway.

Shelby Township police officer Derek Stansbury was the first on scene. His squad car dashcam captured the moment. On it you see the officer pull alongside the SUV. He tells the driver to try to shift down or use the parking brake. Nothing is working. The driver is going into full panic mode. He tells the officer he doesn't want to die.

Stansbury tries to get him to calm down.

"I'm not going to let that happen. Calm down. Keep your eyes on the road and keep steering. I'm organizing something," the officer said.

He had called in for back up. On the dashcam you see the other squads pull into position. One officer gets in front of the SUV, another in back. They maneuver the SUV to ram the squad car and then get him off to the side of the road.

They had to do something because time was running out: the SUV was rapidly approaching a major intersection.

"We'd already exhausted everything and we needed to get him off the road before anyone was hurt," said Stansbury.

Officers say if you're ever in a position where your brakes fail try to downshift. If that won't work try the parking brake.

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