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BMW went 40mile down insterstate after gas pedal got stuck

  • Joseph Cooper drove his 2003 BMW X5 down almost 40 miles of Florida highway on Monday, at speeds of up to 95mph
  • Police deployed spike strips three times to pop speeding driver's tires
  • The cause was alleged by Cooper to be a stuck accelerator pedal 
  • A dispatcher made suggestions to Cooper about how to slow the vehicle down
  • BMW cast doubt on Cooper's story saying such a situation is 'implausible'

By James Gordon For Dailymail.com

Published: 10:38 EST, 14 February 2018 | Updated: 12:25 EST, 14 February 2018

Police chased a runaway BMW SUV for nearly 40 miles as it sped down a Florida interstate at 95mph after the driver claimed the gas pedal apparently became stuck.

The driver, Joseph Cooper, 28, from Palm Coast, managed to stay calm while authorities did their best to stop him and bring the chase to and end.

Cooper had the sense to call 911 on Monday to inform a dispatcher what was going on telling them calmly: 'My gas pedal is stuck.'

Joseph Cooper drove his 2003 BMW X5 down almost 40 miles of Florida highway on Monday, at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour. Here he was caught on police dash cam speeding by
Joseph Cooper drove his 2003 BMW X5 down almost 40 miles of Florida highway on Monday, at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour. Here he was caught on police dash cam speeding by

Joseph Cooper drove his 2003 BMW X5 down almost 40 miles of Florida highway on Monday, at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour. Here he was caught on police dash cam speeding by

Eventually Cooper was able to stop but he had traveled some 40 miles up I-95. White smoke can be seen pouring from his vehicle
Eventually Cooper was able to stop but he had traveled some 40 miles up I-95. White smoke can be seen pouring from his vehicle

Eventually Cooper was able to stop but he had traveled some 40 miles up I-95. White smoke can be seen pouring from his vehicle

Cooper runs and auto-detailing business
Cooper runs and auto-detailing business
He specializes in polishing highs speed cars
He specializes in polishing highs speed cars

Cooper runs and auto-detailing business which specializes in polishing highs speed cars

Cooper ended up driving some 40 miles up Interstate 95 in south Florida 
Cooper ended up driving some 40 miles up Interstate 95 in south Florida 

Cooper ended up driving some 40 miles up Interstate 95 in south Florida 

But a BMW spokesperson cast doubt on the scenario calling it 'implausible' and said there were numerous ways in which the driver could have stopped the car. 

'We would be happy to work with the Florida State Police to investigate the cause of this incident,' the company added.

Cooper told emergency dispatchers that he was alone in his SUV on  I-95 near Vero Beach just before 1 p.m. when he lost control.

Drastic action: A police officer attempted to slow the vehicle down by preparing to throw some spikes acrosss the road
Drastic action: A police officer attempted to slow the vehicle down by preparing to throw some spikes acrosss the road

Drastic action: A police officer attempted to slow the vehicle down by preparing to throw some spikes acrosss the road

The officer  can be seen on his own dish cam throwing the strip of strikes across the road. The first attempt, the BMW missed, on the second two right tires were punctured and on the third, the two left tires were flattened
The officer  can be seen on his own dish cam throwing the strip of strikes across the road. The first attempt, the BMW missed, on the second two right tires were punctured and on the third, the two left tires were flattened

The officer  can be seen on his own dish cam throwing the strip of strikes across the road. The first attempt, the BMW missed, on the second two right tires were punctured and on the third, the two left tires were flattened

Cooper is very fond of his BMW X5 as his Facebook profile is covered with photos of it
Cooper is very fond of his BMW X5 as his Facebook profile is covered with photos of it

Cooper is very fond of his BMW X5 as his Facebook profile is covered with photos of it

The phone operator asked if he could shift his car into neutral but he told the dispatcher it was not possible, saying: 'I can't, ma'am, I tried that already. I'm trying to hold onto the wheel and talk to you at the same time.'

They told him to try manually decelerating while on cruise control, but Cooper again said nothing worked.

'Ma'am, I'm in a BMW and if I slam that over, it's going to drop down a gear and I really don't want that to happen,' he told her. 'It could spin me out.'

The operator then asked if he had an emergency brake in the car.

'Yeah, but I'm not pulling that at 100 miles an hour, ma'am,' he said. 'I'm sorry.'

At one point he appeared to tell the dispatcher that he almost hit someone.

'Get out of the way!' he was heard to yell on the recording.

Authorities then tried to slow down the car using spiked sticks which are laid across the road and designed to puncture the tires but Cooper also managed to avoid them.

Cooper can be seen in the center of the picture after police finally brought his car to a stop
Cooper can be seen in the center of the picture after police finally brought his car to a stop

Cooper can be seen in the center of the picture after police finally brought his car to a stop

Cooper's car is one of his great joys with it prominently featured on his social media accounts 
Cooper's car is one of his great joys with it prominently featured on his social media accounts 

Cooper's car is one of his great joys with it prominently featured on his social media accounts 

Further down the freeway the highway patrol once again threw out the 'stop sticks' spikes and this time managed to blow out two right tires. The car slowed to 60 mph. 

Dashcam video released by the Fellsmere Police Department shows an officer deploying spike strips on the interstate in their third and final deployment.

This time, the attempt was a success with the spike strips piercing the remaining two left tires.

The car slowed to 40mph but Cooper said that he was still unable to stop.

'The vehicle was traveling on all four rims with no tire,' the highway patrol said.

Eventually, the SUV came to a complete stop and video shows smoke surrounding it.

Police closed the road while they dealt with the incident and questioned Cooper, seen far left
Police closed the road while they dealt with the incident and questioned Cooper, seen far left

Police closed the road while they dealt with the incident and questioned Cooper, seen far left

BMW says the likelihood of its gas pedal becoming fixed to the floor is 'implausible'

BMW have released a statement expressing doubt over the entire situation stressing the various safety features of their vehicles.

All BMW vehicles, including the 2003 X5 described in this incident, employ an electronic accelerator pedal which uses software logic to override the accelerator whenever the brake pedal is pressed while driving.

BMW say the the 2003 X5, pictured, has a number of safety features to prevent it from speeding away in an uncontrolled manner such as this
BMW say the the 2003 X5, pictured, has a number of safety features to prevent it from speeding away in an uncontrolled manner such as this

BMW say the the 2003 X5, pictured, has a number of safety features to prevent it from speeding away in an uncontrolled manner such as this

This means that the vehicle detects that both pedals are depressed, the on-board electronics will reduce engine power so that the driver may stop safely.

Also, the accelerator pedal in BMW vehicles is hinged at the bottom, and mounts to the floor. Therefore, an object or floor mat cannot slide under the accelerator pedal and jam it.

The vehicle could also have been stopped by two additional means: By placing the transmission in neutral and coasting to a stop and/or by shutting off the ignition without removing the key. 

This is accomplished by turning the key counterclockwise. The engine would have shut off and the driver could have safely coasted the vehicle to a stop. 

The entire chase lasted for 40 miles and no one was injured, Lt. Alvaro Feola of the Florida Highway Patrol told ABC News that despite the dangerous situation, Cooper did everything right. 

'He called 911, he wore a seat belt, he kept the dispatch aware of the mile markers,' Feola said.

'Thank God in this situation nobody got hurt,' Feola added. 'Traffic was maybe a little light, it wasn't rush hour.'

BMW have released a statement expressing doubt over the entire situation stressing the various safety features of their vehicles.

Scott Newsom from the Fellsmere PD ended up giving a series of TV interviews after the event
Scott Newsom from the Fellsmere PD ended up giving a series of TV interviews after the event

Scott Newsom from the Fellsmere PD ended up giving a series of TV interviews after the event

'All BMW vehicles, including the 2003 X5 described in this incident, employ an electronic accelerator pedal which uses software logic to override the accelerator whenever the brake pedal is pressed while driving.

'This fail-safe software means that if the vehicle detects that both pedals are depressed, the on-board electronics will reduce engine power so that the driver may stop safely.

'Furthermore, the accelerator pedal in BMW vehicles is hinged at the bottom, and mounts to the floor. Therefore an object or floor mat cannot slide under the accelerator pedal and jam it.

'The vehicle could also have been stopped by two additional means: By placing the transmission in neutral and coasting to a stop and/or by shutting off the ignition without removing the key. 

'This is accomplished by turning the key counterclockwise. The engine would have shut off and the driver could have safely coasted the vehicle to a stop.'

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