NEW YORK CITY - A speeding driver was caught on camera heading the wrong way through the Midtown Tunnel in New York and crashing into an Uber vehicle. The teen driver then tried to run away and he allegedly threatened officers with his cellphone.
The dashcam video is petrifying. Taken from inside a car correctly driving on the left of two Manhattan-bound lanes in the Midtown Tunnel, the driver rounds a bend to suddenly see another car speeding in the wrong direction, directly at him.
"I was in shock. I was thinking about my children, my wife," the driver, Zafar, told WCBS. "It's a miracle I'm alive."
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Zafar had two female passengers in the backseat of his Uber early Sunday morning when police said an 18-year-old man with a learners permit, high on marijuana and cocaine, slammed through a barrier at the closed 35th Street entrance ramp to the tunnel and drove the wrong way for half a mile, 20 miles over the speed limit, until he finally impacted and totaled Zafar's car.
"I cannot even open [the driver's door]... I was checking to save my life how to get out so finally I found this open [rear] door and I get out from there," said Zafar.
Everyone survived the crash. Zafar and his passengers were rushed to the hospital. "This side, both shoulder when I bend down, a lot of pain here and my legs here," said Zafar.
As for the other driver, he got out of his car, visible wearing a red hoodie in the video before it stopped.
Police sources told WCBS the driver was Jorge Beato. He was trying to make a run for it through the tunnel, but two MTA police officers drove in and blocked him. Sources say Beato pulled out his cellphone and aimed it at the officers like a weapon, but they quickly realized it wasn't and arrested him.
"I was so angry. How can this guy put another life in danger? Then I think about other people and this could happen to anyone. They should do something to prevent," said Zafar.
Sources say police found used drug bags in Beato's car, which is registered to his father. He faces a slew of charges, including reckless driving.