Police car dashboard cameras have provided plenty of footage over the years of criminals attempting to evade police or horrific car accidents, but Lauri Ulvestad wasn't the former and some inspired – if not lucky – driving prevented the latter. Ulvestad, 47, of Ames, Iowa, experienced a stuck accelerator while driving her 2011 Kia Sorento along Interstate 35 in Missouri, and while she was able to call police to help clear traffic in front of her, it was her miraculous driving that ultimately ended the day with not so much as a scratch on her crossover.

The dash cam footage of a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer shows Ulvestad at speeds of well over 100 miles per hour swerving around cars and even using the median to avoid a collision. Ulvestad's Sorento was equipped with a keyless, pushbutton starter that she was unable to turn off, and according to the phone recording with a 911 operator, she was also unable to get the car to decelerate or shift the vehicle into neutral. After the 59-mile ordeal that lasted for about 35 minutes, police finally told her to try pulling back on the accelerator while hitting the brakes. This worked, and her Sorento came to a stop on the shoulder, leading some to suggest that accelerator entrapment (i.e. a floor mat wedged under the gas pedal) was to blame rather than a computer-related unintended acceleration. It has been reported that Kia is investigating what caused the problem, but it is just amazing that nobody was injured during the course of this event.

For vehicles with pushbutton starters, most can still be shut off by pressing and holding the starter button for a few seconds. This combined with shifting to neutral and applying the parking/emergency brake can usually help bring an out-of-control vehicle safely to a stop.

Scroll down to see the dash cam footage of Ulvestad's frightening incident.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 219 Comments
      emily1dance
      • 2 Years Ago
      It seems the brake lights also failed at the same time. They never came on during the entire police video. Something stinks here and it is not the brakes.
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great incentive to start learning how to drive a manual, right here.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gorgenapper
        [blocked]
          Gorgenapper
          • 2 Years Ago
          Refill your blinker fluid and everything will be okay after that.
      Karl T
      • 2 Years Ago
      One thing that doesn't make sense in this is that she couldn't stop the vehicle using the brakes. When the spate of Toyota 'sudden acceleration' incidents took place, a few magazines, etc. ran testing and every vehicle tested could be stopped using brakes at full throttle. Regardless of HP.....
      Marques Bland
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can we get a report of what kinda mpg she got at that speed? Curious minds would like to know.
      2012 ZR1
      • 2 Years Ago
      She said both her gas & brake pedals were stuck. I think she had her floormat bunched up & under her pedals. She pulled the gas pedal up & pushed down on the brake pedal w/ her hand to stop.
        jase.s
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2012 ZR1
        She was unable to shift the car to neutral, indicating that even if the pedals were stuck on the floormat there was another electronic drivetrain problem.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jase.s
          False. All you have to do is bump the lever up, you don't need to push any buttons and there would be nothing in the vehicle to prevent that. You can watch the video and it looks like she didn't even hit the brakes.
      AJ Harnak
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is even more proof that not everyone who can drive around the block should be able to drive. For goodness sake, there are multiple ways to bring a runaway car down from speed, regardless of the situation. Furthermore, I have a really hard time believing that a Sorrento would be capable of doing 120 mph if she were holding on to the brakes.
      WindsWilling
      • 2 Years Ago
      Probably driver error here. Also, most push button vehicles are killed by holding in the button. If that's not the case with KIA, expect that to be done ASAP. But, for the brakes not to work, pedal stuck to the floor, not able to shift into neutral and kill the engine? Suspicious, of the driver. Now we're going to see a button that says "emergency shut off" littering up the interior of cars now too...
      dmojavensis
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder why people buy (and manufacturers make) cars with electronic ON/OFF buttons and shift-to-Neutral-by-wire gearboxes? Isn't it an essential safety feature to be able to **manually** 1) shut off the engine and 2) disconnect it from the wheels? Professionally I often deal with potentially dangerous high-power equipment. Unlike many modern cars it always has a "big red button" that will shut the power off in case of emergency.
      Armchair Economist
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, over 180 km/hour in a Kia Sorento weaving through traffic and construction zones in a highway that's super epic. She could have pressed down the ignition button to shut off the engine or shift into neutral but I guess if she's not a gearhead like most people on this site, she probably would not think about it. Lucky no one got seriously injured so in retrospect we can admire the powe and handling capabilities of the 2011 Kia Sorento LOL.
        gasolinepopsicle
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Armchair Economist
        The news reporter said she couldn't turn the car off. Probably a "fail safe" to prevent the car from losing power steering/brakes at highway speeds. I think putting the car in neutral would have been the best thing to do. Then again, going that fast in a Kia would probably be hard to rationally think about the situation and not crash.
      xspeedy
      • 2 Years Ago
      She would have her license yanked for life and spend a weekend in minimum security prison under my proposed "too stupid to drive" law.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      How NOT to be a dumbass with an out of control vehicle: 1) Stand on the brake. Even some of the worst braked vehicles can go 60-0mph in around 4 seconds. Why? Because the brakes are far more powerful than the engine on just about every car. 2) Put the vehicle in neutral (and/or pull in the clutch if its a MTX) 3) Take the key out of the ignition or hold down the engine start button on keyless ignitions. This idiot should lose her driver's license. Period.
        dmojavensis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Ducman69, actually *NEVER* take the key out of ignition when the vehicle is in motion! That will lock the front wheels resulting in loss of control and most likely an accident. Please don't give these potentially fatal advises to anyone anymore. Instead only turn the key to "acc" ("accessories") position, just one click back from "on".
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dmojavensis
          Better yet, just shift to neutral, then you don't have to worry at all about where the key position is and you maintain full control of the vehicle.
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        And again guys, over HALF AN HOUR. I can excuse a brain-fart if we were talking about unintended acceleration for 3.5 seconds, MAYBE even 35 seconds (count to 35, that's a long time to use your brain). 35 minutes is full-retard.
      bearman
      • 2 Years Ago
      put the clutch...oh wait...america...right.
        xspeedy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bearman
        Simply awesome. I always theorized that not having automatics available to the public would keep the dummies off the road. If you can't walk and chew gum, you won't ever learn to handle a proper manual. Those folks are better on a bus.
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