A 19-year-old man who allegedly stole and then crashed an 18-wheeler in California on Sunday told police he was being chased by “zombies,” according to published reports.
The wreck that resulted injured seven people, police told The Associated Press. It’s not clear why Tennessee resident Jerimiah Hartline allegedly stole the truck, which was swiped from a nearby weigh station on Interstate 15.
As the teen allegedly sped north on I-15, he swiped several vehicles, which a police spokesperson later said was indicative of his visions of zombies “clinging to the truck,” which he was trying to shake off.
Once the truck was overturned, blocking the whole highway, Hartline allegedly jumped out and ran to a nearby minivan, demanding a ride from the driver. The Press-Enterprise reported that instead of ferrying him away from the scene, the driver and bystanders put the teen under citizens’ arrest and kept him there until police arrived.
The driver of the truck, 51-year-old Daniel Martinez, eventually told police that he’d given Hartline a ride from Tennessee, although he claimed that he didn’t realize the young man was on board for the first 100 miles of his journey ferrying strawberries from San Diego to Maryland. When he stopped at a weigh station and stepped out of the cab, Hartline is said to have simply driven away.
It is not clear if Hartline was under the influence of any drugs.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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