Teen who crashed strawberry-filled truck says zombies were to blame

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Apr 12, 2013, 10:29 AM EDT (Updated)

In which the valuable lesson "check all your mirrors before driving away from the undead in your stolen semi" is learned.

Nineteen-year-old Tennessee resident Jerimiah Hartline seemed to be "in an altered state," according to officer Nathan Baer, when he made off with a big rig hauling strawberries. The original driver of the truck had taken the youth aboard when he discovered him hiding in the truck's berth.

The semi-trailer truck was parked at a weigh station in Rainbow, Calif., at the time of the theft. Hartline took off and then crashed into no fewer than four cars before the truck flipped, completely blocking all four lanes on the northbound side of I-15.

After the multiple collisions, Hartline allegedly tried to commandeer the van of a driver who had stopped to offer assistance. Thankfully, the van driver, along with several other witnesses, was able to hold Hartline down until police arrived.

What precipitated this frenzied grand theft auto? Officer Baer says of Hartline, "He just said that he was being chased by zombies." Whether or not Hartline actually believes his own story, we'd say the chances of an actual horde of walking dead chasing after him are pretty slim. 

All told, Hartline's erratic behavior caused injury among seven people. He has been booked into jail on suspicion of vehicle theft and hit-and-run.

(via Gawker)

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