TRENTON — A local official who spotted a speeding, swerving driver on Route 195 followed the driver for 15 miles — even as the driver hit speeds near 100 mph and drove off the road — until the driver was caught by State Police.

John Barrett, the director of finance for Hamilton Township in Mercer County, spotted the blue sedan as he headed east toward his home at the Jersey Shore around 5 p.m. on Friday. Barrett's dashcam caught the wild ride as it the other car continued along Route 195 at speeds of an estimated 100 mph, weaving in and out of traffic, swerving into the grass median, spinning around and taking out a highway sign along the right side.

The footage also shows the driver also hitting a white SUV in the left lane, knocking it into the grassy median.

"This driver was absolutely detached from reality it seemed," Barrett told New Jersey 101.5. "He was going off the road, back and forth, and goes off the road around exit 16 (for Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson). I thought he was going into oncoming traffic. I thought this was going to be a horrible story with more injuries."

Barrett called State Police, who stayed on the phone with him as he described the car's actions. The dispatcher urged Barrett to not speed up to keep up with the driver. Barrett said he knew he was taking "a controlled risk" trying to keep up with the driver, and backed off when the driver was around and past 100 mph.

The blue sedan was eventually stopped — after forcing another vehicle from the road. State Police spokesman Sgt. Lawrence Peele told New Jersey 101.5 troopers found the driver, Joseph Scott, 29, of Howell, with a syringe and heroin.

"My main focus in sharing this was the fact that we're in the July 4 season. I thought this was someone who started their weekend party on a Friday. ... The important message is to help other people not get behind the wheel," Barrett said.

Barrett also earned a congratulations from Spring Lake Heights Police. "Well done sir," the department wrote on its Facebook page.

Peele said Scott was charged with several traffic violations and criminal offenses. He was taken to Hamilton station and released pending a court date.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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