Automatics still have a neutral gear. Most people don't use it, so I can understand a driver in a panic situation not thinking of it, but I would expect he would try it when stuck in that situation for an hour.
Neutral nearly caused my engine to jump out of the hood when I had the same thing happen, dangerously high rpms at no load... Turning off the engine worked like a charm, and I found a little flak trapped under the cable. Perhaps there is some reason you can't turn off a Laguna?
The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the trial of the three election workers accused of rigging the 2004 presidential election recount in Cuyahoga County is finally underway. As you may recall, this was the case where poll workers 'randomly' selected the precincts to recount by first eliminating from consideration precincts where the number of ballots handed out on Election Day failed to match the number of ballots cast and, then opening the ballot boxes in private and pre-counting until they found cases which would match up. What is interesting here is that they have already admitted doing this and that it was clearly counter to the letter and the spirit of the law, but still insist it wasn't really 'wrong,' presumably since they only did it to avoid having to go to the bother of a full recount as required by law.