Woman sets car on fire after driving wrong way on Florida interstate

TAMPA, Fla. — A woman is accused of driving the wrong way on a Florida interstate and then setting her vehicle on fire when she was pulled over, authorities said.

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According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the woman was driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Tampa when deputies made a traffic stop, WTVT-TV reported.

“The driver got out of the vehicle and clearly was undergoing a mental health crisis, making a lot of very aggressive statements towards deputies,” Amanda Granit, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, told the television station. “She had a knife in her hand and, at one point, she lit her vehicle on fire.”

The woman was taken into custody and the fire was extinguished, WFLA-TV reported. Because the woman was taken into custody under the Baker Act, she was not arrested, WTVT reported. Granit said the deputies were trained to recognize a health crisis.

“Deputies and law enforcement officers don’t know what they’re experiencing when they respond to these calls or when they make a traffic stop,” Granit told the television station. “The chance of someone going through a mental health crisis and then responding to this need to help is a very real possibility in many of our calls. But our deputies are well-trained. They’re ready to encounter that and ready to try to de-escalate these situations as they occur.”