Watch a Heroic State Trooper Take Out a Drunken Wrong-Way Driver on the Highway
Putting his life on the line to prevent a horrific tragedy.
Dash cam video shows a state police trooper managed to stop a drunken wrong-way driver on one of the busiest stretches of highway in the country by intentionally crashing into the speeding car to prevent a tragedy, according to the Connecticut State Police.
Just after midnight on Monday morning, police received several calls from motorists reporting a car driving the wrong way up the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Stamford, Connecticut. This curvy section of highway is just outside New York City and sees an average of 150,000 vehicles a day passing through—in other words, one of the worst spots imaginable for this to happen.
Troopers reportedly used DOT highway cameras to find and track the vehicle, a 2016 Audi A3 that was "being operated at a high rate of speed in the left and center lanes" and nearly struck several cars as they watched. With every second raising the possibility of a horrific head-on collision, several units ventured out on the highway to stop southbound traffic a safe distance away from the wrong-way driver.
Meanwhile, Trooper Eduardo Santiago drove ahead in his Ford Police Interceptor sedan, slaloming across the empty highway with his lights and sirens on to try and get the driver's attention. The video from his dash cam, released by the Connecticut State Police, is a tense thirty seconds as he waits for the rogue car to come into view. When it does, and it's clear the driver isn't slowing down, Santiago comes to a stop and positions his cruiser halfway in the left lane to cause a sideswipe collision that takes out both cars.
Thankfully, Santiago was uninjured. So was the wrong-way driver: 26-year-old Ashton Steen, who police say was so drunk she thought she was in New Jersey. She was charged with driving under the influence, as well as reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and "operating the wrong way." She was later released after posting a $10,000 bond and will be back in court to face the charges in February.
It's hard to overstate how courageous Santiago's actions were—Steen could have easily swerved into a full-speed, head-on collision with his cruiser—and how close the situation came to tragedy. Remember, troopers saw her barely miss more than a few innocent civilians on her drunken joyride.