Impaired Woman Drove Wrong Way on Route 9: Police

A 47-year-old Tolland woman is accused of driving under the influence and going the wrong way on Route 9 in Middletown early Friday morning. 

Police said troopers responded to the report of a wrong-way driver around 2:20 a.m. and saw a gray 2002 Honda CRV going north in the southbound lanes, so a trooper positioned his state police cruiser in front of it to stop the woman, but 47-year-old Jennifer West, of Tolland, swerved around the cruiser and kept going the wrong way on the ramp toward Interstate-91, police said. 

State police forced the Honda to stop on the I-91 south exit 22 ramp in Cromwell and determined West was under the influence of alcohol and, or drugs, police said. 

West was charged with reckless driving, disobeying the signal of an officer, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, reckless endangerment in the second degree and operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 

She was released after posting $2,500 bond and scheduled to appear at Middletown Superior Court on Sept. 21. 

In the event you see a driver going the wrong way, state police urge people to slow down and safely move to the right or to the shoulder. If there is no shoulder, move as far to the right as possible. 

If you can avoid it, do not slam on your brakes, especially if there is a vehicle directly behind you, and don’t swerve off the road or into other lanes. 

To alert the other driver, honk the horn, flash your headlights and turn on the hazard lights. It's possible that you might be able to make the wrong-way driver aware that they are traveling in the wrong direction. 

As soon as it is safe to do so, call 911, report the wrong-way driver and give your location, including direction of travel and closest exit. If you are able, provide a description of the vehicle. 

Never turn around and follow a wrong-way driver, state police warn. 

It's good practice when driving on the highway at night, especially after midnight, to travel in the right lane. Wrong-way drivers often travel in the left lane thinking they are in the right lane for their direction of travel. 

Police note that some wrong-way drivers are impaired, but others might be experiencing a medical emergency or have become disoriented or confused by signage.  

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