Hmm. Apparently the guy was also heavily in debt:
Toyota Hybrid Horror Hoax - Forbes.com: "It got far more dramatic, though. The California Highway Patrol responded and 'To get the runaway car to stop, they actually had to put their patrol car in front of the Prius and step on the brakes.' During over 20 harrowing minutes, according to NBC's report, Sikes 'did everything he could to try to slow down that Prius.' Others said, 'Radio traffic indicated the driver was unable to turn off the engine or shift the car into neutral.'
In fact, almost none of this was true. Virtually every aspect of Sikes's story as told to reporters makes no sense. His claim that he'd tried to yank up the accelerator could be falsified, with his help, in half a minute. And now we even have an explanation for why he'd pull such a stunt, beyond the all-American desire to have 15 minutes of fame (recall the 'Balloon Boy Hoax' from October) and the aching need to be perceived as a victim."