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Wrong-way drivers are more common than you think. Here's how to avoid them

State Trooper stops wrong-way driver
State Trooper stops wrong-way driver 02:15

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Minnesota drivers are dodging danger on the highway. Thursday night, traffic cameras captured a car speeding the wrong way down Interstate 394 with a child inside.

It happened near Xenia Avenue in Golden Valley. That's not far from where a deadly wrong-way crash happened back in February. 

And in October, a wrong-way driver killed a Twin Cities musician in Hudson. 

MORE: Suspect in head-on crash that killed Minnesota musician says she drove drunk for "freedom"

WCCO's Allen Henry talked to the Minnesota State Patrol about how that can happen and what to do if you see headlights coming your way.

"Its crash troopers do not like going to, it's a call we do not like to hear and we do our best to make sure we get those drivers stopped before that can happen," said Lt. Gordon Shank.

Video shows a driver, going the wrong way down I-394, passing by two troopers trying to stop them.

As motorists slow down and get out of the way, a trooper decides to take action--stopping the car with their squad.

"Troopers made a great decision to get that vehicle stopped. Our training is what we utilize in that situation and they used a pursuit intervention technique or what they call a PIT in order to get that vehicle stopped," said Shank.

Shank says troopers encounter wrong-way drivers too often.

"It can be impairment, we see a lot of impaired drivers that drive the wrong way on our freeways," said Shank. "Sometimes it's someone that does read the sign the wrong way and goes in the wrong side of the highway. We have had that happen. It could be a medical situation or older driver."

He says your best defense is to pull over and call 911 if you see a wrong-way driver, and always stay alert.

"On the freeway especially, those vehicles are traveling at freeway speeds. So 55, 60, 70 miles an hour. Those are split-second decisions and making sure those distractions are out of your hand and you're not focused on something else and you're focused on driving is key," said Shank.

Troopers say no one was hurt on I-394 last night but the driver went to the hospital for some kind of medical treatment.

The child in the car is now with another family member.

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