Charges laid after dashboard video captures near head-on crash
Roger Hendry, 34, charged with dangerous driving; video has more than 240,000 views
Michael Newhook's handy dashcam has captured a few close calls before, but none closer than a narrowly avoided head-on collision Monday morning that resulted in charges against another driver.
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The near-miss has led to charges against Roger Hendry, 34, of Conception Bay South, who was formally charged Tuesday afternoon.
The incident started when Michael Newhook was driving on Peacekeepers Highway in Conception Bay South when he saw headlights coming towards him in his own lane.
As the lights drew nearer, it became clear the blue Chevrolet truck was not going to pass all the oncoming vehicles in time.
We're all on this road together. We should share it safely.- Michael Newhook
"From that point everything went to slow motion and instinct took over," Newhook told CBC on Tuesday.
"It was definitely really quick. But when your life is right there in front of you, everything slows down. I think it gives you time to react."
Newhook swerved away from the truck, hitting the shoulder of the road and staying off the guard rail by a slim margin.
"The reality kicked in when I hit the soft shoulder and the vehicle started to pull towards the guard rail," he said.
"It felt like if I hit the guard rail, I could have popped right back out into traffic. It wasn't until after I regained control that everything was OK."
Video racks up views, charges for driver
Newhook posted the video on Facebook on Monday, and watched the views pile up. By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the dashcam footage on Facebook had been seen 240,000 times.
The video was captioned with a request to share and publicly shame the driver of the truck.
Officers saw the video and by Tuesday morning Roger Hendry was tracked down and charged.
Maybe some people will be affected enough to slow down and change their driving habits.- Michael Newhook
Police arrested the 34-year-old Conception Bay South man and charged him with dangerous driving.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary confirmed in a tweet that it was the same driver from Newhook's video.
"I really did not expect it to go as big as it did," Newhook said. "I just wanted to catch the driver."
Newhook said the dashcam has been an asset ever since he decided to get one for insurance purposes.
UPDATE - 34 yo CBS man arrested today and charged with Dangerous Driving in relation to viral video posted to FB. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nltraffic?src=hash">#nltraffic</a>—@RNC_PoliceNL
Driving in St. John's, there have been a few close calls that would be hard to explain to his insurance company, he said.
Newhook never wants to see the video again, but he hopes everyone who saw it learned a sobering lesson in the dangers of reckless driving.
"Maybe some people will be affected enough to slow down and change their driving habits. We all have some — I know I have some. Nobody's perfect," he said.
"But the main thing is, we're all on this road together. We should share it safely."
With files from Zach Goudie