Nova Scotia·Video

Dashcam video shows car speeding wrong way down Highway 101 before crash

Eyewitnesses say driver pulled a weapon out of car after he crashed and forced man out of pickup before driving truck into an Irving station in Lower Sackville, N.S.

Windsor man faces more than a dozen charges, remanded for psychiatric evaluation

This video of a vehicle driving inbound in the outbound lane of Highway 101 near Sackville was captured with front and rear-facing dashcams. (Video courtesy Eric Vander Heide) 0:28

A 38-year-old Windsor, N.S., man faces more than a dozen charges after allegedly speeding the wrong way down a Nova Scotia highway. 

Dashcam video captured a black Jaguar sedan driving in the wrong direction down Highway 101 Thursday evening. Videos show other vehicles being forced off the road and dodging the oncoming car as it weaves in and out of traffic.  

David Raymond Farrell of Windsor is also alleged to have threatened a man with a machete, stolen a truck, run away from police and crashed through a store at a gas station, injuring two people.

The suspect was in Dartmouth provincial court Friday afternoon where he was remanded for a psychiatric evaluation. He is due back in court Thursday for a hearing to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

RCMP said people started calling 911 around 5 p.m. on Thursday about the black car travelling inbound in the outbound lane of Highway 101 near Ellershouse.

Eric Vander Heide was on Highway 101 near St. Croix heading home from work when he captured the incident with his front and rear cameras.

"Like this guy, he had a death wish or something, that's what I was thinking," he told CBC's Maritime Noon

"Like he's out to ... kill somebody or kill himself or or whatever because it made no sense at all to be going that fast and the wrong side of the highway."

Close call

In the video, Vander Heide pulls out to pass an Irving natural gas truck. He sees brake lights from the vehicles ahead of him, and said he thought they were braking for a deer.

Just as he passes the truck, the black car comes speeding towards him in the opposite direction, narrowly missing him. 

Vander Heide was within feet of colliding with the gas truck in the right-hand lane. The rear dashcam video shows how terrifyingly close the vehicle behind him came to crashing head-on with the black car. 

Jason Vandr Heide captured his close call with the speeding vehicle heading in the opposite direction of Highway 101 Thursday evening. (Jason Vander Heide)

Vander Heide said he felt calm immediately after the incident, and it didn't hit him until later how narrowly he escaped crashing with the black car. 

"I had a garbage sleep last night. I woke up at 2 o'clock thinking about it like 'Man oh man.' It really sinks in later on about how close it was," he said.

Witness sees man threaten another driver and steal car

At some point after Vander Heide saw the black car, it crashed on Highway 101. 

RCMP said in a news release on Friday afternoon that a black Jaguar sedan crashed with an oncoming SUV. 

Another eyewitness, Jason Mclellan, told CBC News he saw a man get out of a car in the median, grab something out of it and run across the road to where other vehicles had stopped. 

"[He] then ran across with what looked like at the time just shrapnel from his car or something. But when he ran across the road in front of me he stuck his arm out as if like it was a pedestrian crossing and he had a machete in his hand," said Mclellan.

RCMP have confirmed the man was armed with a machete.

He said the man ran up to a stopped pickup truck but the driver of that vehicle sped away. Mclellan said the man then ran to another stopped truck and ordered the man out of the vehicle. 

"He just ordered the man out of his vehicle and sped off ... spinning his tires and did a doughnut in the highway," he said, driving off partially in the wrong direction and partially in the median. 

RCMP say officers drove towards the man in the stolen truck and as they got closer, the suspect "drove directly into the path of responding members," but did not stop.

He continued past police and took Exit 2 onto the Beaver Bank connector, speeding until he crashed into the Irving gas station on the corner of Sackville Drive and Beaver Bank Road.

"We're very fortunate other people weren't seriously injured or killed in this incident," said RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson.

RCMP say two people inside the store were hurt but are expected to survive. The driver was not injured. 

The charges against Farrell include dangerous operation of a vehicle, robbery with violence, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, mischief endangering life, assault of a peace officer with a weapon and operation of a vehicle while impaired causing bodily harm.

'All you saw was smoke and he did it 360'

Jason Gray also witnessed the same incident but from the opposite side of the road. He pulled over to see if everyone was OK. 

He estimates the black car was travelling about 150 km/h when it crashed. 

"And I see the passenger door on the car kick open and I see this guy fly out of the passenger side and he starts jumping up and down and he's trying to yank something out of the back seat."

He said he couldn't quite make out what the man had grabbed from the car.

A vehicle drove the wrong way down Highway 101 before crashing into Irving station Thursday evening. 0:24

"But later on I found out it was a machete but I like the first thing that popped in my head was this guy's gonna start taking people out," he said.

"For someone that's got smashed like that going 150 kilometres an hour, a head-on collision, to start pulling something out of the back seat like that. There's [something] not normal about this." 

Firefighters examine the gas station after a truck crashed into it Thursday evening. (Robert Short/CBC)

RCMP and Halifax police are asking that anyone with photos or video of the incident to contact police. 

With files from Jon Tattrie, Amy Smith, CBC's Maritime Noon