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Crime & Justice

Driving Dead — man pleads guilty to stealing big-rig to flee zombies

A general view of atmosphere at  New York Comic Con -
A general view of atmosphere at New York Comic Con - "The Walking Dead" at Javits Center on Oct. 15, 2011 in New York City.
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for AMC

It’s a story right out of AMC's “The Walking Dead,” or at least “Zombieland.” In a scheme probably slightly less clever than one from the Governor, a man hid in the back of a big-rig in Tennessee, then stole it after the driver crossed the country and stepped out near Temecula.

The reason? He told investigators he was fleeing zombies.

The man who fled zombies, Tennessee 19-year-old Jerimiah Hartline, pleaded guilty Monday to assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run causing death or injury and vehicle theft.

The California Highway Patrol says that Hartline was under the influence of a substance that led him to believe he was being chased by zombies (or “walkers,” for you TV fans).

In fact, he thought there were zombies clinging to the truck, forcing him to quickly swerve back and forth to shake them off. No video is available of the dramatic events that happened inside Hartline’s mind.

During the imagination zombie chase, Hartline hit several cars and caused a pile up, as well as injuring seven people and ultimately flipping the big rig on its side. I guess that’s why the roads on “The Walking Dead” are all covered with abandoned cars.

Hartline’s looking at up to five years in prison. No word on how thankful he is to not be facing the prison of being a reanimated human corpse.