A 19-year-old California man has claimed that he was being chased by "zombies" when he crashed a stolen truck.
Jerimiah Hartline was arrested earlier this week after crashing a stolen truck and injuring seven people. One, a 19-year-old girl, remains in the hospital with a serious head injury and severed artery, according to reports.
Officers said Hartline, a transient, was picked up by a truck driver somewhere near Tennessee, The Temecula, a local paper, reported. Hartline explained that he stole the top-heavy vehicle, filled with strawberries, when its driver was at a weighbridge. While swerving to shake the car and rid it of the zombies that were attached to the back, Hartline explained, he lost control of the vehicle. The big rig crashed, hitting multiple cars before landing on its side.
"He was arrested at the crash scene and appeared to be in an altered state, claiming he was being chased by zombies," Nathan Baer, a California Highway Patrol officer, told Yahoo.
Hartline was charges with six offenses including: assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving, vehicle theft, attempted vehicle theft, driving without a license and involvement in a hit-and-run resulting in injury. He has plead not guilty on all accounts.
His next court date appearance has been scheduled on April 17. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, Calif., the Daily Mirror confirmed. It appears that Hartline was not charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Readers joked about what they would do if a zombie apocalypse were to occur.
"I think it's perfectly reasonable to steal a truck if zombies are chasing you," one person wrote on the Yahoo! blog.
"Was believeable till they said the truck had strawberries on [it]," a second user commented. "C'mon we all know zombies dont like fruit."