VIDEO: Woman Arrested for Stealing Taxicab and Driving Wrong Way on HWY 4


MARTINEZ — A woman was arrested this morning after allegedly stealing a taxicab and driving the wrong way on state Highway 4 in Martinez, causing two crashes and shutting down the roadway, authorities said.

A taxi driver called police around 8:15 a.m. to report that someone had just stolen his cab from the 700 block of Escobar Street, according to Martinez police.

The California Highway Patrol got a report a short time later of a taxi driving the wrong way on Highway 4 near Morello Avenue, CHP Officer John
Fransen said.

The cab headed east in the highway’s westbound lanes, causing a Honda Civic to swerve out of the way and hit a roadway median, Fransen said.

Moments later, the driver of an SUV attempted to swerve out of the taxi’s path but struck a gray van, causing the SUV to overturn.

Fransen said he did not know the extent of possible injuries suffered in the crash.

The taxi came to a stop a short distance away and Martinez police arriving on the scene apprehended the driver, identified as 40-year-old Jaimee Ellam, police said.

She was taken to a hospital to be evaluated and placed under arrest.

Drugs are believed to be a factor in the incident but an investigation into the collisions is ongoing, Fransen said.

The CHP closed two lanes of westbound Highway 4 following the crashes but the roadway has since reopened.

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