Police officer risk life to stop wrong-way driver

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KPLR) – FOX 2 obtained a harrowing video of a wrong-way, drunk driver on Interstate 44 over the weekend.

It shows a Kirkwood police officer risking his life to put an end to the danger.

A driver saw another car going the wrong way around 3:30 Saturday morning. He honked.  He yelled. He called police.  He also recorded the video.

That driver looked across the median and saw a car going the same way he was – westbound; only the other car was on the eastbound I-44.

“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!”, the witness cried as he recorded the other driver nearly crashing into oncoming vehicles.

Other drivers reacted in frightened disbelief.

“Some honk their horns, some flash their brights and there are some that pass within feet of the wrong way driver,” said Kirkwood Detective, Dave Smith.  “It was very close.”

Philip Kiefer, 35, of Fenton, was driving drunk, police said.

You can hear the witness repeatedly honking at him and yelling ‘you’re going to die’ in the video.

Kiefer got on the Interstate at Hampton in the city of St. Louis, police said.  The wrong way drive continued for nearly 8 miles.

A Kirkwood police officer got on the interstate at Lindbergh and approached Kiefer head-on.  Thankfully, Kiefer stopped.

“Good job, good job, good job,” the witness yelled across the median to the police officer upon stopping Kiefer’s car.

“The wrong way driver stopped within feet of the front our patrol vehicle,” Smith said.  “The officer approached, advised the subject what he was doing wrong.  The subject responded by saying, ‘that’s not good’… the outcome of this case could have been much worse.  Our officer definitely made a decision to put himself in jeopardy and save the lives of others, including that driver.”

Police commend the witness but reminded drivers they should never record a video while behind the wheel.

Kiefer's been cited for DUI and careless and imprudent driving.

FOX 2 confirmed he was a registered driver for Uber.

He was not working at the time of the incident and hadn’t an Uber trip for nearly two weeks.

Uber has permanently deactivated him as a driver, a spokeswoman said.