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Two Washington state police officers were recently involved in a routine traffic stop when they spotted a motorhome rolling toward them – in reverse.
According to a report in The Daily News, Longview, Wash., engine failure caused the motorhome to stall out while it was heading uphill. Reports said it was not clear what caused it to roll backward.
“The motorhome almost hit us,” said Officer Jeff Gann. He and fellow officer Steve Ross leaped into their patrol cars to keep traffic away from the 26-foot rig as it careened in reverse down the grade – known locally as Ubalohde Hill – at up to 50 mph.
“I was trying to stay out of his way so he wouldn’t run me over, and I was trying to keep other cars out of his way so they wouldn’t get run over,” Gann said.
His patrol car, with lights and sirens on, preceded the motorhome downhill while Ross followed.
Gann said they met several cars coming up that part of the highway, but they all managed to swerve out of the way as the motorhome used both lanes.
“It was very scary,” he said.
The motorhome wrecked about 30 seconds to a minute after it began rolling backward, Gann estimated. The officers then requested the Washington State Patrol to respond to the accident scene because it occurred on a state highway.
While rolling downhill, the motorhome failed to negotiate a curve to the north, went off the south side of the highway, rolled over and ejected the driver, the state patrol said. The motorhome’s shell was destroyed.
The driver, a Longview resident, was transported to St. John Medical Center for treatment of a sore back and other pain, then released.
The state patrol said he will receive a citation for second-degree negligent driving.