(Agence France Press) A New Zealand woman drove for hundreds of kilometres (miles) while asleep at the wheel, sending texts from her mobile phone along the way, police said Wednesday.

Police said they received an emergency call just after midnight Wednesday from a friend concerned the woman had gone out in her car after taking sleeping medication.

Told that the woman had been sleep-driving 10 months previously and had a fondness for the beach, police ordered patrol cars to keep a lookout for her silver hatchback and began tracking her via her mobile phone.

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