A Monday morning police chase from Yolo to Sacramento county, in which a driver went through a construction zone and eventually stopped on an off-ramp, is likely the result of a medical condition, officials say.
"As of now, it does look like a medical emergency," said CHP Sgt. David Lavezzoli. "We released him at the hospital."
The California Highway Patrol reported that 55-year-old Michael Patrick O'Conner, of Vallejo, was reported by witnesses to be driving recklessly eastbound on I-80, just east of Mace Boulevard, around 10:30 a.m.
Officers tried to find the 2001 Ford Focus with disabled plates, said to be driving erratically on the roadway, as witnesses updated the agency that the vehicle entered a construction zone "where it possibly sideswiped a big rig and ran over construction cones." The car also traveled at fluctuating speeds, weaving on the roadway, while dragging pieces of the construction zone, the CHP reported.
Officers eventually located the vehicle as it crossed over the Causeway and tried to stop the driver, but he didn't comply and instead continued eastbound "at speeds as low as 30 mph, as he traveled to the left-hand lanes and weaved across the lanes onto the right shoulder."
Eventually O'Conner, who was on his way to work in Sacramento, drove his car onto the eastbound US-50 transition ramp to southbound I-5, where he collided his car with a concrete wall. He continued southbound on I-5 and exited at Sutterville, where the car became disabled.
Upon contact, officers said he appeared to be suffering from a medical condition which may be related to Diabetes. O'Conner was taken to the U.C. Davis Medical Center for treatment. While the cause of the incident is under investigation, alcohol/drugs are not suspected, the CHP reported.
UPDATE from CHP: "Officers contacted O'Connor at U.C. Davis Medical Center and determined that he was suffering from low levels of blood sugar. this condition caused O'Connor to be unaware of the events that took place while he was driving. He was unable to recall details of the event, including the traffic collision. O'Connor was unable to confirm if the Ford had collided with any other vehicles and no other parties have come forward, claiming to be hit by the Ford. O'Connor was released to the hospital for medical treatment.
The CHP is continuing the investigation into the incident and will be contacting the California DMV to request a driver re-evaluation of O'Connor's driving privileges."