A driver drove into a MUNI Metro subway tunnel early Thursday, stalling his SUV about half a mile down the tracks, triggering a mass transit nightmare for San Francisco commuters.
Scott Mitchell, 40, of Sebastapol, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving on train tracks and failure to obey a traffic sign, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said.
Muni spokesman Paul Rose says an SUV entered a tunnel on Church Street shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday and drove eastward almost to the Van Ness Station. The driver stopped when the SUV got stuck in a narrow tunnel.
Muni manager Tryonne Julian was coming on duty when he saw the driver race into the tunnel.
"I get here for work and I notice some headlights headed toward the subway," he told KTVU. "I look in and see this car rolling in at 40 mph. He's booking. We tried to chase after him. All of a sudden we don't see him anymore. So we go in go (to the tunnel) to see where he ended up."
Julian and his fellow workers found the SUV wedged between the wall and the tracks about half a mile inside the tunnel.
"He was pretty inebriated getting out of the car," he told KTVU. "He said to us - 'I'm not from here.'"
All underground train lines were shut down during the morning commute while crews removed the vehicle and inspected the system. Trains resumed service by 8:15 a.m.
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