MATTHEWS COUNTY, Va. - Terrified gasps were the only sounds Ashley Shorts could make on her 35-minute drive home from work last Wednesday night as she trailed a driver swerving in and out of lanes into oncoming traffic.
A video she posted of the shocking commute has gone viral.
"I was actually pretty shook up about it," Shorts said.
Short's terrifying experience started shortly after 7:00 when she left her job and headed home on Route 14 in Gloucester County. That's when she noticed a car swerving, barely missing oncoming traffic and driving into roadside ditches.
She says she contacted dispatchers in Gloucester and Matthews and was able to give a license plate number when she reached the intersection of Route 198 and Route 3.
"While I was on the phone I was going 'oh my God, oh my God, he almost hit somebody again!'"
Shorts says the most terrifying part of the ordeal was captured after she hung up with dispatch and started recording three minutes of video on her phone for evidence.
She says that's when the driver approached the Piankatank River Bridge.
"That's when it started getting really scary," Shorts said. "He was in the wrong lane into oncoming traffic a lot on the bridge. I'm pretty sure his mirror hit the railing of the bridge and I was scared he was going to wreck and possibly flip over."
Shorts said she called dispatch again to report the car turning down a road toward Middlesex County. She says sheriff's deputies in all three counties were unable to catch up with the driver.
"I have a lot of respect for law enforcement and I know they're busy," Shorts said. "It might have been nobody was around."
The next morning Shorts posted the video on her personal Facebook page and then shared it on a Matthew's County social media page. By Monday, more than 30,000 people had viewed the video.
While Shorts was unsure of the driver's fate at the time of the interview, WTVR learned that the owner of the car, a 98' Toyota, was traced through the license plate number provided by Shorts. However, it's unclear who was driving the car on Wednesday evening, so an investigation is underway.
Shorts says she hopes the video sends a message to the driver and others who operate a vehicle recklessly or while impaired.
"I decided this could save someone's life," Shorts said.