IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Man apologizes for traffic jam via Twitter

A man stuck in a stalled car on Interstate 5 got a bigger response than Michael Micheletti ever expected after he began documenting his ordeal on Twitter.
/ Source: KING5

SEATTLE -- A tongue-in-cheek way of documenting his ordeal on Interstate 5 got a bigger response than Michael Micheletti ever expected.

"Everybody is going to run into trouble at some point," said Micheletti, a designer from Shoreline. "And I guess my experience was good people were there to help me, so I'm really appreciative of that."

Micheletti's car stalled in the center lane of southbound I-5 Friday morning, just north of the Seattle Convention Center. He said he actually was headed to the BMW dealership because a service light had recently come on.

He missed it by two miles.

"I was driving on the highway, and many more lights came on on the dashboard and I wasn't quite sure what they all meant, and then the car slowed to a stop and stalled."

The stall caused traffic to back up as far north as Lake City Way.

"You know, I saw all those people behind me with their blinkers on trying to change lanes into swift moving traffic," Micheletti said. "I was in their way, it wasn't a good thing."

After calling for a tow truck, he decided to post a message on Twitter.

"I thought, 'Okay I'm here with traffic whizzing by, I can't do anything else, my car's non-functional, I'll send out a message,' and that was it. Just kind of poking fun at me as much anybody else," he said.

At 7:51 a.m., using his Twitter alias "MikeyM," Micheletti sent this out: "That black BMW stalled in the center lane of I-5? Yeah, that's me. Sorry, I don't like it either."

Within minutes, people were re-posting his message, including the Washington State Department of Transportation, which cautioned people to "give Mike some room."

The entire scene played out in less than 20 minutes, even though the traffic remained backed up for another half an hour past that.

Micheletti eventually used Twitter to post thanks to DOT workers who moved his car to the shoulder and to the AAA tower who took him the rest of the way to the dealership.

"Tony from AAA here to help me. I bet my BMW looks really stylish on this tow truck," he posted at 8:09 a.m.

Micheletti seemed amused at the attention he's received over his post. He said he's already added several new friends to his Twitter account. He said his situation makes him aware of the power of social media, even if it's just a small blip on a traffic radar.

"There's quite an intersection between news and social media," said Micheletti, "The revolution in Egypt... what's happening in Libya right now. I'm just a little thing that happened and amused people."

A service manager at the BMW dealership in Seattle said Micheletti's alternator was malfunctioning. It was fixed by late Friday afternoon.