On Sunday night, Jon, Carley and I were coming back from a camping trip in Ocala. It was dark out, and we were headed north on Hwy 301. Hwy 301 is a 4 lane highway, with 2 lanes going in each direction, with a grass median in between.
As were were headed out of Ocala, Jon was driving in the left lane and turned on his signal to move to the right lane, since he didn't need to be there. He glanced over his shoulder and barely noticed a black car with dark tinted windows riding next to us in that lane. They didn't have any headlights on, just their yellow running lights.
Jon let him pass us, and we got behind him at a light, so he flashed his lights one time at the driver, just to let him know that his lights weren't on. How he couldn't tell was beyond us, because it was pitch dark, and there were no street lights where we were.
When we took off from the light, he was moving a little slower, so Jon moved back into the left lane to pass him, and started driving. We got to the next light, the car still didn't have his lights turned on, and instead of staying in the right lane, the driver slowed down and got behind us in the left lane... even though we were the only 2 cars around.
We thought that was odd, but Jon just figured that maybe he knew his lights were out. They could be broken, so he was behind us so that in case a cop came, he was less likely to get caught. But the farther we went, the more it became clear that the black car was tailgating us.
Still, Jon figured that since he had no lights, then maybe he was just using us to guide him along.
Eventually, however, it became clear that he was intentionally following our car. We slowed down to 40mph, and the car refused to go around us. We sped up to 75mph, and he stayed on our bumper the whole time.
We caught up to some other cars, and Jon changed lanes. The black car cut off another car just to stay with us! At this time, Jon suggested I call *FHP on my cell phone and get ahold of the cops.
I was talking to a woman at dispatch, and since we weren't near any towns or anything, it was hard to give her an exact location of where we were. She kept putting me on hold. She wasn't able to locate any town cops near us, and there weren't any county cops nearby, either.
At one point, she suggested "just pull over and let him go by you."
Me: "We're not pulling over! We're in the middle of nowhere and my kid is in the car! I don't think you're hearing me. He's following us!"
About this time, we managed to catch up to another car and a truck, and Jon was able to cut off the car in the left lane just as it was passing the truck. The black car had to get behind the other car, which got him off our bumper. We immediately broke free, and sped up to about 100mph, thinking that either we could get away, or a cop would catch us and pull us over. (Since I was on the phone with Highway Patrol the whole time, we weren't too worried about getting in trouble.)
Anyways, as we were flying down the road, I'm still talking to the dispatcher, trying to make her understand that this person is FOLLOWING US. I don't think she was believing me...
I looked into the darkness out the rear window. I could see the two sets of headlights of the car and truck that we just passed, and I'm watching the ominous set of dim yellow lights weaving around them, trying to catch up to us!
Finally, we came over a hill, and the black car lost sight of us for a moment. Jon pulled into a turn lane on the left so he could either hook a U-turn, keep going forward, or to stay stopped when the car came back into view. As luck had it, either the car didn't realize it was us that had stopped, or he didn't have time to stop himself... He flew right on by!
I let the dispatcher know, and we kind of killed a little time driving through a gas station and so on, but it seemed like we had lost the car.
A little while later, a town cop called to check on us. I told him what happened and that we were fine. I appreciated them calling to check!
Then, just before turning off of Hwy 301, we stopped at a gas station for snacks, and as I got back in the car, my phone rang again. It was a county cop, also checking on us. As I was explaining to him what happened, Jon was driving down the road and we passed a black car that looked exactly like the one that followed us, sitting in the grass on the side of the road. Windows down. Not running. Nobody in it....