Heading to work in West Detroit on a sunny morning in late March, Jimmy Ellerbee had just taken off from a red light when he saw a woman chasing an SUV going in reverse right in front of him. He had to pull his car onto the curb to avoid the runaway vehicle.
“I wasn’t scared, but it was definitely shocking” Ellerbee told NBC News. He put on his hazard lights to alert neighboring traffic so that no one would get injured and then started recording the scene.
The dramatic video shows the woman trying to open the door of the SUV as it was going in circles in the middle of the road and almost getting struck by oncoming traffic.
“A couple of cars kept going, trying to swerve past because at first it looked like a chaotic scene," Ellerbee said. "Looked like somebody was fighting somebody for the car or it didn’t look like what was going on. I can tell she was concerned about everybody else making sure no one else got hurt. She was trying her best."
A truck flew by him and pulled over. The driver got out and tried to put a brick in the road to stop the runaway SUV. That didn’t work.
Then, “another guy tried to use something smaller, then went back to his car and got the jack and bust the window out with jack,” Ellerbee recounts. “He was the hero, whoever he is ... he smashed that window and then he hopped in. It got that to stop, get the truck to stop.”
Ellerbee thinks the woman was trying to park at a nearby business, but accidentally put the car in reverse and got out. The car then just took off on its own. “It’s my hypothesis,” he said.
So far, despite the video getting over 370 thousand views since being posted to Facebook on March 29, he hasn’t heard from anybody involved in the incident. Ellerbee has also gotten a lot of hits for the video on Instagram. “Now that I know that she’s okay and everybody’s okay, it’s comical,” he says.