3.10.2010

LISTEN: The Complete "Runaway Prius" 911 Tape. Plus: Driver Tells Magazine He Didn't Put It In Neutral Because He Thought It Would Stop "Too Suddenly".



This is it...the entire 24-minute uncut 911 tape from San Diego County real estate agent Jim Sikes, who says his Prius accelerated unintentionally on I-8 eastbound Monday afternoon.

Even more so than the final 3 minutes released yesterday, this tape shows just how sharp the 911 dispatcher was and calls further into question Sikes' actions.

You only need to listen for the first three and a half minutes to hear the telling question and lack of an answer from Sikes:

911: "Is there a way you can put the car in neutral, sir?"

Sikes: "No."

911: "No? Have you tried to put it in neutral?"

Sikes: "I'm trying to control the car."

911: "Okay. Have you tried to put the car in neutral?"

Sikes: "No."

911: "Can you try that?"

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Sir?"

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Can you try to put the vehicle in neutral?"

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Sir?"

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Jim!"

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Jim."

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Jim."

Sikes: (unintelligible)

911: "Jim."

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Jim, listen to me. We have officers on the way, I'm trying to get a hold of the helicopter. I need you to answer some questions for me."

Sikes: (no response)

911: "Sir, can you hear me?"

And so on.

As we reported yesterday, the 911 dispatcher gave Sikes all the right things to do...all the things that finally caused the car to stop when a CHP officer told him to do them over a PA system...20 minutes later.

In short, this could have been a 3-minute incident. But Sikes didn't do what he was told. And we don't have to interpret the 911 tape to arrive at that conclusion, either.

Sikes gave an interview to East County Magazine Monday night in which he says he didn't shift into neutral because he was afraid he "would be hit by another car if his car halted too suddenly."

So you're jamming on the brakes as hard as you can, ripping the lining off, but you think that dropping it into neutral might cause more rapid deceleration?

And your objective was to stop?

By the way, at 84 miles per hour, Sikes tells East County Magazine other cars "were passing me left and right".

Investigators will determine if something was wrong with Sikes' Prius. But it's very clear from Sikes' own words, both during and after the incident, that his actions could have kept this from being a major deal.

No comments: