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Wrong-way driver hits state police unit during I-10 pursuit

January 21, 2022 GMT

GONZALES, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man faces several charges, including DWI, after leading state troopers on a chase going the wrong way on Interstate 10 before crashing into a state police patrol unit.

Louisiana State Police said Steven O’Neill, 33, of Metairie, was arrested early Thursday on charges of DWI, driving on divided highways, reckless operation, aggravated flight from an officer and aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce, news outlets reported. He’s being held in the Ascension Parish jail. Bail had not been set. It was unknown if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Troopers encountered O’Neill traveling east in the westbound lanes of I-10 in Ascension Parish late Wednesday, state police said. He failed to stop when troopers directed him to do so. During a subsequent police chase, O’Neill almost hit multiple vehicles head on, authorities said.

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Troopers said they tried what’s known as a “rolling roadblock” to stop O-Neill and he later hit a state police patrol unit. In the rolling roadblock maneuver, troopers driving alongside a vehicle try to box it in with their patrol units, said Taylor Scrantz, a Louisiana State Police spokesman.

After hitting the police vehicle, O’Neill’s car went into the I-10 median and came to a stop.

A breath-test after the driver’s arrest found his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit to drive, troopers said Thursday in a statement posted on Facebook. The legal limit at or above which someone is considered too intoxicated to drive is a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent.