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Police & Fire

Route 17 Wrong-Way Driver Faces DWI Charge After Nearly Hitting Patrol Car

The area of the Orange Turnpike (Route 17) where the incident occurred.
The area of the Orange Turnpike (Route 17) where the incident occurred. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A 22-year-old motorist who was driving the wrong way on Route 17 and then nearly crashed into a police patrol car in Sloatsburg early Saturday morning is awaiting arraignment for drunk driving, Ramapo Police said.

This section of the Orange Turnpike is divided with a cement wall separating the north and southbound lanes.

A Ramapo police officer traveling southbound on Route 17 near Davis' Sport Shop at about 5:30 a.m.. observed another vehicle approaching him head-on, according to Lieutenant Robert Lancia.

The vehicle was traveling north in the southbound lanes, on the wrong side of the cement divider, Lancia said.

With traffic light at that hour, the officer was able to avoid the oncoming car and quickly apprehend the driver. As the officer approached, the vehicle was stopped with a flat tire, in the passing lane of Route 17. The car was stopped faced in the wrong direction, north in the southbound lane near Auntie El's. The officers on scene utilized emergency lighting to alert motorists traveling on Route 17. 

The driver of the vehicle, Sergio Rodriguez of Mine Hill, NJ in Morris County, was arrested and charged with DWI. 

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