A Milton man is headed to court this morning -- the latest in a mind-boggling string of accused drunken drivers to collide with troopers on state highways.
Wayne Leduc, 40, is due to appear in Quincy District Court to answer charges of operating under the influence, driving to endanger and failure to move over for an emergency vehicle.
Leduc, held on $1,040 bail, is accused of rear-ending Trooper Brian Berry's cruiser with his 2009 Kia Rio shortly after 4:30 a.m. yesterday on Interstate 93 north in Quincy, shoving the cop car into the officer's legs as he was conducting a separate motor vehicle stop.
Berry, 43, apparently escaped with minor injuries but remained hospitalized last night at Boston Medical Center for "observation," police said. Berry is the second state trooper to be hurt by a motorist in less than a week. On Wednesday, Sgt. Edward Treseler, 54, escaped with a wrist injury after his cruiser was hit head-on by an allegedly speeding car on Route 30 in Framingham.
They are among at least five troopers struck by drivers this year. Last year, at least a dozen troopers were struck, prompting an ongoing state police study of whether police light displays are attracting drunks.
Sgt. Douglas Weddleton, while working a detail June 18 at an overnight construction detail on I-95 in Mansfield, was hit and killed by an accused drunken driver as the 52-year-old father of four was questioning another suspected drunk.
Weddleton died one week after Trooper Anthony Carrier was struck by an accused drunken driver on Route 128. In July, Capt. Frank Hughes was hit by an alleged drunk while directing traffic in Cambridge, an alleged drunk rammed Trooper Corey Rose as he sat in his cruiser on Route 24 in Taunton, and Trooper Paul Gifford's foot was run over by an alleged drunk in New Bedford.
Trooper Steven Larocco was seriously injured in January when he pulled over on the Mass. Turnpike in Palmer to check on a disabled SUV and was hit from behind by a Dodge Avenger driven by a man cited for having an open container of alcohol. And state police Col. Marian J. McGovern suffered minor injuries Oct. 11 when her unmarked SUV was rear-ended on Route 20 in Shrewsbury by a Worcester woman with four drunken driving convictions.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service