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Shelton Driver Travels 12 Miles On Route 8 In Wrong Direction

Walter Ciepiela of Shelton drove for more than 12 miles in the wrong direction on Route 8 in Shelton before being stopped by troopers.
Walter Ciepiela of Shelton drove for more than 12 miles in the wrong direction on Route 8 in Shelton before being stopped by troopers. Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police/Facebook

SHELTON, Conn. -- It was no laughing matter for early morning drivers along Route 8 in Shelton on Tuesday as they dodged a driver traveling in the wrong direction, according to Connecticut State Police.

Troopers said they began receiving numerous 911 calls around 1 a.m. reporting a Honda CRV traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Route 8 in Shelton.

Several troopers responded to the area and began to initiate rolling road blocks to protect traffic from the wrong-way driver, Walter Ciepiela, 64, of Shelton, police said. Three different rolling road blocks were set up, but Ciepiela did not stop and narrowly missed the troopers holding up traffic, police said.

It was estimated Ciepiela was traveling 60 to 65 mph and made it more than 12 miles going in the wrong direction, traveling all the way to I-95, police said. Stop sticks were deployed successfully and both his front tires were flattened, but he continued on to I-95 in Bridgeport, police said. He continued driving southbound on the northbound side, police said.

A trooper was able to block the Honda in and had to forcefully remove Ciepiela, who troopers say was impaired, and then block him when he tired to start his vehicle after the trooper turned off his ignition, police said.

He failed field sobriety tests and was double-cuffed, police said.

There were no injuries or accidents in the incident.

Ciepiela was charged with criminal attempt/assault on a police officer, interfering with an officer, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, reckless driving, operating under suspension, disobeying the signal of an officer, driving the wrong way, possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was held on $50,000 cash/surety bond for an Aug. 9 court date in Bridgeport Superior Court.

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