Wrong-way driver flees from Fort Myers police, crashes on I-75 near Tuckers Grade

Published: June 1, 2022 11:48 AM EDT
Updated: June 2, 2022 5:22 AM EDT

A man accused of pointing a gun at a woman led police on a car chase that ended with him flipping his vehicle on I-75, authorities said.

Wisdael Torres, 39, faces multiple felony charges from both the Fort Myers Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Fort Myers police said Torres pointed a gun at an ex-girlfriend and when officers approached, he got away and drove in the wrong direction on I-75, shocking many drivers.

The victim, who asked not to be identified, said they are thankful the people around her at the time of the incident are OK.

Viewers sent WINK News videos that show the driver speeding by in the emergency lane until he hits the median and flips over into the grassy area separating the north and southbound lanes.

Fort Myers police chased the vehicle until Ortiz Avenue where he soon drove up the wrong ramp and started to drive north on southbound I-75.

Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol began to follow Torres on I-75, which is where he crashed, between Bayshore Road and Tuckers Grade.

Traffic cameras show first responders taking Torres away on a stretcher.

“He’s driving on the wrong side of the road nothing good can come from that. So that’s why we look at those situations on whether to push that pursuit or stop it. In two cases we attempted to stop this. His driving was so dangerous that we decided to terminate our pursuit of it,” said Fort Myers police Lt. Shawn Yates.

The incident left Chris Calco shaken up.

“I’m in the left lane going southbound and I see a car maybe a couple yards ahead of me going the wrong way. So I swerve out and swerve left again into the ditch. He spun back around maybe another mile behind me and ended up rolling over right over here,” Calco said.

Calco was on his drive to work from Fort Myers to Largo when he saw the car speeding toward him.

“Checked over my shoulder luckily nobody was there I slid right. If I had gone left I’d be in the trees right now,” Calco said.

Joey Hinchman and his girlfriend drove past a car being driven northbound on the southbound lanes of I-75.

“We actually hear it first because it was going across the (rumble) strips on the side of the road. And we just heard this really weird rubber sound. And then, all of the sudden, it just zooms by. I mean, if you blinked, you would have missed it,” said Hinchman.

Hinchman just installed this dashcam in his car before heading to the east coast for a concert. He barely had time to react to the car police say Torres was driving as he tried to speed away.

“I was like, ‘Was that real or was that a movie?’ but then we saw the police chasing after him. Like probably 10 or so cops came down the road,” said Hinchman.

Moments later the car flipped through the median of the interstate before coming to a stop.

“I’m really surprised no one else got hit. Just… He crashed,” said Hinchman.

Police said Torres drove at high speeds during the chase and showed no regard for public safety.

Hinchman said he’s thankful no one else got hurt. “A couple cars swerved. I looked behind me and a couple got out of the way as well. If I was in the left lane, I probably would have hit him.”

Fort Myers police said Torres is in critical, but stable condition.

Although the investigation is ongoing, police say Torres will face multiple felony charges for both what happened when he pointed the gun at his ex-girlfriend and on the interstate.