CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A Good Samaritan noticed a driver recklessly swerving across Interstate 24 around 1 a.m. Thursday morning, so he followed the driver while he called dispatch.
"You could tell by the way he was driving that something was going on," Nashville resident Cory Buckner said. "He ran several cars off the road."
After following the driver for several miles, Buckner said the black Mustang finally pulled off to side of the road near mile marker 14 in Montgomery County. Buckner stayed back, but also pulled over, waiting for police to respond.
That's when the reckless driver pulled a u-turn and started driving the wrong way on I-24.
"He actually split two cars, and I thought for sure he had wrecked," Buckner said.
But the driver kept driving toward Buckner.
"I saw cars behind me, and I knew I wouldn't feel good about myself if I let this guy get past me," he said.
So Buckner pulled his Kia in front of the impaired driver.
"A quick prayer was said, I thought worst case scenario I'd have to get a rental car after wrecking my car," Buckner said. "But thankfully, he stopped."
Buckner got the impaired driver out of his car, took his keys, and had the man sit in the grass while they waited for Sheriff's deputies to arrive.
Paul Hammel, age 23, was arrested for driving under the influence.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office issued the following statement:
"For the safety of citizens witnessing crimes in progress, we do not encourage that they get directly involved in stopping illegal activity. However; it is completely understandable that when faced with extreme circumstances, a Good Samaritan is led to intervene in the interest of public safety. We are grateful an impaired driver was taken into custody and no one was injured in the process. We are also thankful to Mr. Buckner for his efforts."
It was a split second decision that may have saved lives.
"I don't think I did anything anyone else in that situation wouldn't have done," Buckner said. "I hope he uses this as a learning tool. Don't allow yourself to get in this position again."