Traffic jams, carpool lanes, construction crews, bad drivers, hitchhikers, highway patrolmen, emergency vehicles… these are all things you might expect to see as you cruise down the highway in Anytown, USA.
Zombies, on the other hand, are far less common, at least for people not tripping on acid, mushrooms or some other hallucinogenic drug.
Enter Jerimiah Clyde Hartline, a 19-year-old transient who apparently prefers to drive while under the influence of mind-altering substances. More on that in a moment.
Last weekend in Tennessee, Hartline got kicked out of the house and decided to hitch a ride on the first train out of town. Only he didn’t take a train; he hitched a ride with Daniel Martinez, a truck driver heading to California with an ass load of strawberries.
The trip was pretty uneventful until the pair arrived at an inspection site near Temecula, a small city in Riverside County, California. Martinez stepped out to do some paperwork and left his young passenger in the truck.
A few moments later, Hartline hopped into the driver’s seat, shifted the truck into gear and took off for no apparent reason. Officer Nate Baer—one of the officers on the scene later—believes it occurred because Hartline was “under the influence of a substance that caused him to hallucinate.”
Sounds reasonable enough to me, especially when you consider what happened next.
Hartline was cruising down the road—which I find very impressive since 18-wheelers are not easy to drive—when he suddenly lost control and began smashing into everything in sight.
First it was a Tacoma, which slammed into a 4Runner that in turn collided with a Mercedes. The driver of the 4Runner should be fine, but two of the Tacoma passengers were seriously injured and rushed to a local hospital.
Hartline’s next victims drove a Taurus and an Accord, respectively. And this time it was the Taurus people who were heading to the hospital.
Fortunately for everyone further down the freeway, the truck flipped over after impacting the Accord and could wreak no more havoc. Of course, that didn’t stop Hartline the Hallucinator, who crawled out, jumped into a nearby van and demanded its driver take him to some as-yet-unknown location.
Unfortunately—at least for Hartline—the driver would have nothing of it and instead restrained him until Baer and his fellow “boys in blue” arrived. And that’s when Baer learned the truth about what caused the accident, injured so many people and damaged so much property.
“He thought zombies were chasing him and clinging to the truck.”
I tell you what. Either Hartline has watched so many episodes of AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead that zombies have now become his reality, or the other thing is true.
He was just on some really good shit. Only it won’t seem so good when he’s behind bars. But Hartline will learn—and teach us all—a very valuable lesson: under no circumstances should you ever hallucinate and drive.
Seems like a no-brainer to me. And that’s exactly how I would describe poor Jerimiah Hartline, too.
Any chance the great and powerful Oz could hook him up scarecrow-style?
Posted on April 12, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged AMC, California, commentary, crime, current-events, humor, news, perspectives, The Walking Dead, transportation, United States, zombies. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.