SEYMOUR, CT — A local police officer narrowly stopped a car from getting on Route 8 going the wrong way last week, the agency's deputy chief said.
The driver later failed a field sobriety test and was arrested.
During the call, the deputy chief said another driver without headlights on almost struck the officer's cruiser. That driver was also charged with DUI.
The incident began with a 9-1-1 call around 12:30 a.m., last Thursday reporting an "erratic vehicle" north on Route 8, according to Roberto Rinaldi, the Seymour deputy police chief. The caller reported the driver had gotten off at Exit 22, and that they followed the driver on Route 67 east.
Rinaldi said a nearby police officer spotted the car make a left turn from Route 67 and start heading up the exit ramp. The officer was able to stop the car before it went onto the highway, he said.
"Because of the Officer's quick action, who just happened to be at the right place at the right time, the vehicle was prevented from going further up the highway and a tragedy was definitely averted," Rinaldi said in news release.
Police identified the driver of that car as 43-year-old Shannon Carballo, of Naugatuck. Rinaldi said Carballo "appeared intoxicated," and was given a field sobriety test.
Carballo failed the test and was charged with driving under the influence and driving the wrong way, Rinaldi said.
The deputy chief said the intersection where the driver almost got on the highway going the wrong way "was recently improved by the State DOT with road markings, properly marked signage and lighting to prevent such an incident."
As the arresting officer was leaving to take Carballo for testing as the police department, the officer's vehicle was almost hit by another vehicle on Route 67 that had no headlights on, Rinaldi said.
The deputy chief said that car was also stopped. The driver behind the wheel also appeared intoxicated and failed the field sobriety tests, Rinaldi said.
She was identified as 55-year-old Barbara Minopli, of Seymour. Police said Minopli was charged with driving under the influence as well as failure to drive with headlights.
Rinaldi said both Carballo and Minopli were released on $500 bonds and are due to appear in state Superior Court in Derby on Nov. 30.
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