Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
Video shows an Irving police officer using his cruiser to stop a wrong-way driver on the President George Bush Turnpike. 23-year-old Julia Brooks was arrested.
A 23-year-old woman was arrested in Irving late Tuesday night after driving the wrong direction on state Highway 161 and crashing into an oncoming police car.
Officers were dispatched to the area after receiving reports of woman driving southbound in the northbound lanes. Police said Wednesday afternoon that officers attempted several times to get the driver's attention, but that she never stopped.
Police said the driver, later identified as Julia Crain Brooks, continued driving the wrong way on the highway and nearly collided with several cars while reaching speeds of up to 80 mph.
During the pursuit, officers eventually deployed spike strips but the driver still refused to stop. Police shined a spotlight into her car, still she refused to stop, they said. Brooks was only stopped when an officer traveling northbound used a blocking maneuver and intentionally struck her car as she passed by him, pushing her into the center wall.
Both Brooks and the officer were uninjured in the collision. When asked why she didn't stop, Brooks slurred and told officers she did not want to go back to rehab.
Brooks was determined to be intoxicated, police said, and was taken into custody on charges of evading arrest with a vehicle and driving while intoxicated. She was expected to be arraigned before a judge Wednesday afternoon.
An affidavit with more details on the pursuit is expected to be released after the arraignment.
Brooks' arrest was the third by a person driving the wrong way on a North Texas interstate in the last seven days.
Earlier Reports of Wrong Way Drivers
Early Tuesday morning, Dallas drivers frantically called 911 about a pickup heading the wrong way on Interstate 30 near Dolphin Road. The driver nearly missed several others before crashing into the HOV wall at Carroll Avenue.
The driver wasn't hurt, but police said he admitted to having a couple beers.
NBC 5 has also learned 35-year-old Sidney Pineda is now facing intoxication manslaughter charges for last week's deadly wrong-way crash on Central Expressway that killed 51-year-old Jose Portillo, a baker headed to work before the 4 a.m. crash.
Police said you can defend yourself against wrong way drivers by watching far ahead, looking for other drivers braking or swerving, and staying out of the left lane because wrong way drivers sometimes mistakenly think they're on a two lane highway.
NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.