SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A test drive on a new car turned into a multi-county nightmare for one Spartanburg car salesman.
7 News spoke with that car salesman.
“The customer came in at 8:00 and said she wanted to purchase a vehicle from us,” car salesman Brandon Lawson said.
Brandon Lawson’s Saturday was just like any other working at Vic Bailey Honda in Spartanburg.
He said a woman came in and wanted to test drive a car.
“She wanted to take it on the highway,” he said. “That was a normal request. Most customers do.”
But, when they got on I-85, things changed.
“Passed three or four exits and I was like, ‘Okay, we need to turn around and get your paperwork done.’ And she just kind of looks at me and keeps driving,” Lawson said.
Lawson told 7 News he got a little worried when they left Spartanburg County and entered Cherokee County.
He said that’s when she started driving between 90- and 100-miles per hour.
When they passed the Gaffney Peachoid, that’s when Lawson said he knew he was in trouble.
So, he texted a manager back at the dealership.
“Letting them know what car I was in, exactly what road I was on,” he said.
Lawson said, about five minutes after he sent that text, things took a turn for the worst.
“A transfer truck came up beside us and she rammed the vehicle into the body of the transfer truck, and then rammed the vehicle into the tires of the transfer truck,” he said. “At that point, all I was concerned about was getting home to my family and instincts just kind of took over. I knew I had to do something to make it home to my family that night.”
So, Lawson did something he says he regrets, but believes it saved his and her lives.
“I did the only thing I could think of at that time. I reared back and I actually had to hit her in the face to get her to let go of the vehicle’s steering wheel,” he said. “Grabbed the steering wheel from her and pulled it over to a barricade.”
Lawson said they were in Blacksburg when they finally came to a stop, and the driver got out of the car and started walking. He made sure to follow her so that police would know where to find her.
He said he still can’t believe they both walked away uninjured.
“I just feel like it’s a huge blessing,” Lawson said. “I feel like God was looking after me that day and I’m just very thankful to be alive.”
And Lawson said he didn’t let the incident stop him from going back to doing what he loves to do.
“I came back to work and sold a car,” he said.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has asked us not to release the driver’s name in this case just yet, as this is an ongoing investigation; but they said that charges are possible.
The sheriff’s office told 7 News the driver was taken by EMS to Cherokee Medical Center for a mental evaluation.