On the morning of March 7, a nude woman climbed atop a big rig in the middle of westbound US-290 and proceeded to dance and evade rescue for two hours.
According to Chron, “the bizarre incident began around 9 a.m.” on the Texas highway. Harris County Sheriff’s Department Thomas Gilliland informed the news source that “a 25-year-old naked woman wandered into traffic on US 290 near Huffmeister causing a three-car pile up.” Westward traffic was tangled for miles as a result.
The woman, whose name has not been released, is believed to have been “involved in two separate hit-and-run traffic incidents in the Jersey Village just before the highway shutdown.” From Chron:
“Sheriff’s deputies believe the woman drove away from those two incidents and onto US-290, where she parked her vehicle, stripped off her clothes, and walked into traffic, sparking the pile-up and hours-long traffic quagmire and drawing dozens of spectators.
‘She just crawled up the front of that truck,’ said Brian Shirley, a public information officer for the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department. ‘Up on the bumper, up on the hood, all the way up.’
When he first got the call he thought it was potentially a publicity stunt, but after arriving at the scene realized it was a real life psychiatric emergency, he said.”
The woman was clearly agitated, screaming at those who had reported to the scene to help her to safety. Moreover, many commuters found folly in the emergency, hollering insults and jokes at the woman as they passed.
Says Shirley, “Our biggest challenge was treating the patient with respect and dignity and getting her down safely...It was really tough trying to keep things calm when people were driving by and yelling and not being very nice about things.”
Around 11 a.m., after nearly two hours of negotiation—not to mention an attempt to lasso the woman—first responders convinced her to descend in a ladder truck basket. She is currently hospitalized, and it’s uncertain as to whether or not she will face charges.
Keaton Gray, one of the spectators at the scene, tells Chron that however peculiar, the events of Monday morning held little room for laughter.
“I was shocked. It was kind of saddening,” he said. “As time went on it was less funny and more saddening.”
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