As she had before, Myah Bost drove her 2002 Lincoln Continental from her grandmother’s house on Ninth Avenue to her friend’s apartment on Bonita Drive.
But as Bost approached the busy intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Jackson Lane in Middletown, and the traffic signal was red, she tapped the brake. When the car with 166,000 miles failed to slow, she hit the brakes again, this time a little harder.
Bost swerved around the stopped traffic and quickly turned right on Jackson Lane, in hopes of getting the car stopped.
The harder Bost pressed on the brake, the faster the car accelerated, she said.
“I wasn’t in control of the car anymore, and that’s when I got scared,” the 2013 Middletown High School graduate said.
When nothing worked, the 21-year-old did what all daughters would do in that situation: She called her mother, Katrina Wilson.
The conversation went something like this:
Myah: “Mom, I can’t stop the car.”
Her mother: “What did you say about the car?”
Myah: “It won’t stop.”
Her mother: “What?”
Her mother, still talking to her daughter, called 911 dispatch at the Middletown Division of Police with another cell phone. She hoped the dispatcher, someone, anyone, could tell her how to stop her daughter’s car.
The whole time, Myah Bost was driving, running a stop sign at Burbank Avenue, blowing past her friend’s residence on Bonita, turning left back onto Roosevelt, this time traveling west. The dispatcher told Wilson there were reports that a woman was seen driving a Continental erratically on Roosevelt.
That wasn’t a woman.
That was Wilson’s daughter.
“It was something else,” Wilson said of the June 29 ordeal.
As she drove down Roosevelt, Bost said she approached the top of the hill, unable to see if there were any vehicles stopped at the light at the bottom. She got in the right lane, and luckily, no one was stopped.
Otherwise, she said: “I was going to run into them. I started blowing the horn because I knew I wasn’t driving the car.”
So who was?
“The car was driving itself,” she said. “It was a runaway car.”
She continued driving on Roosevelt, past Breiel Boulevard and onto University Boulevard. The dispatcher told her mother to tell Bost to apply the emergency brake, but that didn’t work.
Then the dispatcher suggested turning the ignition “one click back” so the steering wheel wouldn’t lock. The car, traveling about 45 mph, turned off near Marsh’s Supermarket on University, and coasted all the way to John XXIII Elementary School, Bost said.
She got out of the car — after driving through 13 traffic lights — thankful to be alive, glad no one was injured.
“I thought I killed the car,” said Bost.
She later learned the incident was caused by a faulty gasket that was stuck to the throttle, a $40 repair.
When Middletown police officer Kathy Jones arrived, she told Bost she was “one of the luckiest people she had ever met.”
Then she handed her a dollar to play the lottery.
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