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Staggering Wrong-Way Driver Smashes 2 Cars
by Melissa Bailey | Aug 28, 2013 12:58 pm
Posted to: Legal Writes, Downtown
A man who appeared to be “three sheets to the wind” threw Court Street into confusion, when he drove the wrong way up the street, plowed into two cars, then tried to drive away.
The incident took place Tuesday evening outside Michael’s Downtown Restaurant at 130 Court St., on a short one-way street that ends at the Robert N. Giaimo Federal Building downtown.
At about 8:30 p.m., a lone male driver zipped the wrong way up Court Street in a black Kia Forte. The car bounced off of a black Toyota RAV4, then crashed its right front corner into a gray Jeep Compass.
A local storeowner called the police non-emergency number to report the incident.
By 8:35 p.m., a small crowd had gathered outside Michael’s. The scene was tense. The car had stopped, but the driver was still trying to turn over the engine.
“He’s trying to escape!” said one onlooker. Several people memorized his plate number in case he fled.
Neighbor Bernard Walker said he was listening to the Mets game, as well as Hot 93.7 FM’s Hot 8 at 8, when he heard a double crash. He went downstairs to investigate. “I came around the corner, and he was trying to put it in gear,” he said of the driver.
The driver appeared to be “three sheets to the wind,” one onlooker declared. The driver kept turning over his engine, making terrible clanking sounds. The car was going nowhere.
Walker called out to the driver that his CV joints (constant-velocity joints, which power front-wheel drive), were shot.
At one point, the driver got out and staggered outside his car, then got back in again.
After about 10 or 15 minutes, police came to the scene.
They pulled the man out of his car and emptied his pockets on a police cruiser. When they put him in the rear seat, he lay down.
Shortly after, a man came down from a nearby apartment and discovered that the front right bumper of his Jeep had been smashed. He called his cousin, whose apartment he had been visiting.
He told him a wrong-way driver had smashed his car.
His cousin didn’t believe him. Then his cousin came down and found out that to his dismay, his fiancée’s car had been hit, too.
Police charged the driver, a 41-year-old New Havener, with driving while intoxicated, operating with a suspended license, and driving the wrong way down a one-way street.