Caught on Camera: Citizens box in Palmer woman, troopers arrest her for drunk driving

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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - A group of drivers on the Parks Highway took matters into their own hands when they saw a car swerving from side to side, coming within inches of dividers and other vehicles.

Multiple cars converged on an erratic driver, boxing the car in and forcing the driver to stop. She was later arrested for DUI. Still taken from video by Kunayaq Hank.

According to the Alaska State Troopers, the driver of that car, Laura Phillips, 49, of Palmer, was arrested following the incident.

The call came in around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, when Phillips was spotted driving erratically on the Parks Highway and Hyer Road on the way to Wasilla.

A majority of the incident was captured on video by the occupants of the vehicle driving behind Phillips, and was uploaded to Facebook. That video was shared almost 2,000 times, and viewed over 70,000 times, before being removed. Channel 2 spoke to the woman who recorded the video, who walked us through the footage.

In the video, which can be viewed in full above, Phillips' Toyota Camry can be seen weaving from side to side, almost striking other cars. Eventually, a larger truck got in front of the car and several other vehicles flanked it on the sides and from behind.

The drivers collectively decided to perform something similar to a citizen's arrest, stopping the vehicle before it did any potential damage, and removed the driver.

This was achieved by all cars around the Camry slowing down to an eventual stop, forcing Phillips to put the car in park. The drivers can be seen getting out and approaching Phillips, who appears disoriented in the video.

KTUU viewer Kunayaq Hank, who recorded the video footage, said that after approaching the open driver's side window, she smelled a strong scent of alcohol.

"When she tried to get out of her car, she nearly fell, so I helped her into her back seat while the other people drove her car to the exit for the troopers," Hank said.

At the end of the video, the drivers of the other vehicles can be seen opening Phillips' door and telling her to get out of the car.

Eventually, troopers arrived and arrested Phillips for driving under the influence as well as reckless driving. She was remanded to Mat-Su Pretrial.

Thursday, a Channel 2 News reporter went to the Palmer courthouse for Phillips' scheduled arraignment and was told that she had made bail. No attorney was listed in online court records for Phillips.

According to court records, Phillips previously pleaded guilty to a DUI back in 2007.

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