Link to the audio of the 911 call.
6/18/2010 7:35:00 PM
Prank becomes unintended wild ride on back of semi-truck
Brown News Service
WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — What began as a prank resulted in an intoxicated man clinging for dear life on the back of a semi-truck trailer for 17 miles from downtown Washington Court House to Sabina early Friday morning.
It was a prank gone very, very wrong. Fortunately, he was eventually able to dial 9-1-1 and save himself.
At around 3:20 a.m., 24-year-old Brandon R. Farmer and a few friends were walking near the Fayette County Museum as a semi-truck came to a stop at a red light at the split, or Y, on Court Street. Based on a dare, Farmer reportedly jumped onto the rear rail of the semi trailer before the truck headed westbound on Court Street.
“Farmer indicated that his intent was to ride on the back of the semi trailer rail until it stopped at the next traffic signal in the downtown and then to dismount,” said Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
However, it didn’t work out that way for Farmer.
“Until informed by Sgt. (David) Bivens, Farmer was unaware that the traffic signals in the downtown area were in sequence to remain green during the evening hours unless cross traffic from a side street pulled to the intersection and triggered the censor to change the traffic flow,” said Stanforth. “With very light traffic at that hour of the morning, the semi was able to proceed through Washington Court House without stopping for a red signal.”
The driver of the semi, unaware that Farmer had hopped on the back of his truck, continued on his route toward Sabina. With no stops until the one traffic light through Sabina in Clinton County, Farmer had no chance to jump off the truck, which continued to travel at 55 miles per hour or more.
While trying to stay on the truck, Farmer dug his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed 911. In a calm manner considering the circumstances, Farmer told the dispatcher his situation.
“I was joking around. You know?” he said. “It was stupid. Now I’m scared of falling….”
The communications center was able to find out the highway route and general location of Farmer. Deputies were dispatched to respond to the area in an attempt to intercept the semi on U.S. 22 westbound, according to Stanforth.
“The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office was also contacted for assistance and was requested to start eastbound on U.S. 22,” Stanforth said. “As Farmer indicated to the communications technician that the vehicle was nearing the village of Sabina, the communications technician lost telephone contact with Farmer.”
At 3:40 p.m., an officer with the Sabina Police Department saw the semi coming into the village with Farmer still hanging on the back and made a traffic stop on the truck.
Farmer, uninjured, was taken by Sabina police to the county line, where he was picked up by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. When deputies talked to Farmer, “it was determined that he was under the influence of alcohol,” said Stanforth.
Farmer, of Washington Court House, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He is scheduled to appear in the Washington Court House Municipal Court for arraignment on June 28 at 9:30 a.m.