SUV drives recklessly, nearly hitting construction crew in southeast Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police followed an SUV that was driving erratically through east Charlotte Wednesday afternoon.

The incident happened around 12:30 p.m., and Chopper 9 Skyzoom could see CMPD’s helicopter monitoring the vehicle from the sky.

A dark blue SUV could be seen driving recklessly, speeding down several streets and nearly hitting a construction crew at McAlway Road and Woodlark Lane. It even drove on a sidewalk at one point to avoid traffic.

Then, the driver turned into Maple Way Apartments, a complex in southeast Charlotte. The driver nearly hit a gate there as it drove over shrubbery to enter the complex.

The driver jumped from the still-moving SUV and ran into the complex, but police quickly caught them.

One neighbor who just moved in Wednesday was shocked it happened at her new complex.

“The first day I move in, it’s all this dramatic excitement of a chase, almost like a clip out of a movie,” she told Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz.

She shuddered at how it could have ended.

“You could be coming out and you might accidentally be hit by the car that the police are chasing, that’s preposterous,” she said.

She told Goetz she picked the apartment complex because it seemed so safe.

“I just can’t believe it, that it would be happening here,” she said.

‘We kept everybody safe’

Goetz spoke with the construction workers who were nearly hit, who said the encounter could have easily turned deadly. The driver had come up to a stop-arm at the site when they flew around it, nearly hitting the workers.

“He was coming, he was coming,” Leo Munger said.

Munger does traffic control at the construction site and is in charge of keeping oncoming cars and crews safe.

“We tried to get him to stop from running into traffic, so we got over and moved the traffic,” Munger said.

The driver was moving quickly down the one-lane road, going head-on into traffic. Chopper 9 Skyzoom‘s video shows other cars were able to move out of the way, thanks to the direction of the traffic controllers.

“We kept everybody safe,” Munger said.

With crews in the roadway, live gas lines on one side and heavy equipment on the other, Munger said one wrong move at the speed the car was going could have been tragic.

“Had someone been out a foot farther or not paying attention, do you think this would be a different story?” Goetz asked.

“Oh yeah, it would be a different story, it would be,” Munger said.

Channel 9 has reached out to police for more information about what led up to the incident.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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