• Aug 27th 2012 at 11:30AM
  • 481

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KANSAS CITY, MO. - An Ames woman whose accelerator got stuck as she drove up Interstate Highway 35 in Missouri managed to control the vehicle even as speeds topped 110 mph and she was forced to the median several times to avoid other drivers, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Patrol spokesman Sheldon Lyon praised Lauri Ulvestad, 47, for not crashing her 2011 Kia Sorento as she weaved through traffic and aconstruction zone with no way to slow down.

"Not only to drive fast, but to go into the median, pull back up into the passing lane and hit that asphalt lip - and not overcorrect - it was really amazing to see her do that repeatedly," Lyon said.

Ulvestad was driving north on the interstate near Bethany, Mo., on Sunday when she realized her accelerator was stuck. Panicked, she called 911 and soon two state troopers caught up with her. One pulled in front of her to alert traffic ahead, while the other stayed behind her.

Lyon said the three cars covered 59 miles in 35 minutes before the woman's vehicle suddenly slowed and came to a stop on the inside shoulder near Osceola, Ia., about 40 miles north of the state line.

Ulvestad told KCCI-TV in Des Moines that as she passed Osceola she was told to lift up the accelerator and push on the brake.

"And so I did that, and it slammed me from 119 mph to like nothing," she said.

Lyon said Ulvestad had attempted everything the 911 operator - who was in constant contact with the Highway Patrol's headquarters in Jefferson City - told her to do, including trying to shift the vehicle into neutral. The vehicle had a "proximity key," Lyon said, which allows someone to start the car without a real key when they're close enough to it.

"There was some talk about if she threw the key fob out the window, would the car shut off," Lyon said.

Irvine, Calif.-based Kia Motors America Inc. issued a statement Friday afternoon saying it has inspected Ulvestad's vehicle but hasn't been able to identify the problem that caused her accelerator to stick.

"Our technicians have been unable to duplicate the issue and this appears to be an isolated incident. KMA will continue to investigate and analyze the facts of this situation and will work with the customer to resolve the matter in a timely manner," the company said.

Kia said it has provided Ulvestad with alternative transportation and is working with her to resolve the issue.

While he praised Ulvestad's driving and the efforts of the troopers, Lyon said he was disappointed in the drivers who stayed in the left lane of the interstate and didn't immediately move over when the patrol cars came up behind them.

"Every close call was caused by people who wouldn't get out of the way for the lights and sirens," he said. "They ended up with near misses several times."

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 481 Comments
      vettevr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why didn't she just turn the vehicle off??????
        Don
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vettevr
        I've had enough of these dumb posts. Give the woman credit for not crashing her car. GOOD NIGHT!
        Don
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vettevr
        I've had enough of these dumb posts. Give the woman credit for not crashing her car. GOOD NIGHT!
      diabalos76
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Every close call was caused by people who wouldn't get out of the way for the lights and sirens," he said. "They ended up with near misses several times." stupid *******, what else are people supposed to do when a cop gets on their ass? Cop coming up behind someone means you're probably getting pulled over and don't make sudden changes or pitbull law dog could beat you and take your freedoms and anything else they want. Not civilians fault you pigs build that rep for yourselves.
        bba007
        • 3 Years Ago
        @diabalos76
        Sounds like you have been pulled over a few times. Maybe next time they'll give you some long deserved jail time.
        Don
        • 3 Years Ago
        @diabalos76
        Your response is that of a immature child or a smart a$$. I'd bet you wouldn't call a police officer a "pig" to his face. Next time you need police assistance call him a "pig" and see what you get! You are pathetic!
      George
      • 3 Years Ago
      CAR SALESMEN and RENTAL AGENTS need to be more RESPONSIBLE and SHOW people all of the IMPORTANT features in their NEW (or used) car. Many of the newer cars have the PUSH-BUTTON start feature which is DISABLED by holding the button down for 1 to 3 seconds (depending on the car). DRIVERS ED classes also need to address this issue and actually DEMONSTRATE it to students on a lonely road to know what to do in the event of a STUCK THROTTLE.
      charlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can I give all of you know it alls a little advice. Next time you get in your car on the hwy hold the gas pedal to the floor and slip the transmission into neutral and don't lift off the gas pedal. Let me guess ,the engine was revving but the car slowed down......Give it a try...may come in handy some day.
      testube9
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did any of you retards read the frigin article? She couldn't turn the car off because it has a proximity key fob, so she can start the car with out the key in the ignition. So there isnt a traditional ignition where you just turn off the car
        bigpapapuff425
        • 3 Years Ago
        @testube9
        The article is apparently too long for most people to read. Or comprehend.
        parksle2
        • 3 Years Ago
        @testube9
        they vote with the same information, be very afraid!
      shot1onnet
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Irvine, Calif.-based Kia Motors" is just the importer they have nothing to do with making them. Kia is based in Korea. Any way this woman is one of two things, not very bright or trying to make money.
        pnut166
        • 3 Years Ago
        @shot1onnet
        you do know a lot of Kia models are made in America, right ???
        M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @shot1onnet
        You forget at least two obvious alternatives. She could have been craving attention. She could have been deciding whether to conclude a suicide attempt on camera. HOWEVER, everyone was sure my mother was imagining things about the family car, my father, our mechanic, and the auto maker (when we asked about any reports of such a thing). Our family did an about face on that idea when it happened while I was driving my sister to school --- starting off from a stop sign, the (automatic) transmision locked up, and the rear wheels were jammed as we slid the last fifteen feet out of the intersection on the other side. The car would NOT move until I put it in reverse, then forward, just as my mother had described. And It never did it again in two years... go figure...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very scary! I would not have wanted to be in her position. The information given about pulling up on the gas pedal while pressing the brake was very good information. My daughter had a Kia car, and had some trouble with it. When we looked under the hood, my husband noticed that there were plastic parts holding up the motor. We told her to get rid of the car as fast as she could. Even though Kias look nice, I would not have one.
      Wyboo51
      • 3 Years Ago
      dont for get when in doudt call your mom, stupid ,,
      • 3 Years Ago
      you're (almost) all chauvinist idiots. women driver how stupid can she be blah blah blah. can you not read? did you not read about the proximity key or the fact that she tried the neutral trick? or did you not realize that this woman traveled sixty+ miles in about half of an hour at probably twice the speed limit while managing to call 911 and not hit ANYONE? which, by the way, would have most likely been fatal for all involved at that speed. can't you commend her for THAT? god, you people are ******* morons from hell.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It has a (remote start) and it you take out the key it still on till a certain distance of the key they said. Thats why they said they wondered if she threw the key out the window it would stop. Didn't you watch the video?
      marekl19
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why not just shift into neutral and blow the engine, or down shift? This article makes not sense.
      • 3 Years Ago
      You people don't read; she was told to and tried to put the vehicle in neutral. Trying to sound like you have common sense when not even reading the article, please.
        Night Rider
        • 3 Years Ago
        I read the article "Patrolman Lyon said Ulvestad had attempted everything the 911 operator - who was in constant contact with the Highway Patrol's headquarters in Jefferson City - told her to do, including trying to shift the vehicle into neutral".....Then it goes on to say it has a proximity key.....The key just allows you to start the vehicle without being in it, then releasing it out of park. It has nothing to do with the transmission and shifting it into neutral. Honestly.....I think she just panicked. She should have been able to shift to neutral and let the engine blow
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