Wrong-way driver disabled and detoured on I-17

CAMP VERDE -- Just after 5 a.m. Monday morning, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) received reports of a vehicle driving south in the northbound traffic lanes of Interstate 17 at milepost 268, north of Cordes Junction.

A DPS unit responded from Mayer. The officer positioned his patrol car between the wrong-way driver and northbound traffic near milepost 262 on the interstate. The officer conducted a traffic break by straddling the two traffic lanes while slowing the flow of traffic to approximately 55 mph. The officer estimated the speed of the on-coming wrong way car to be 70 mph.

The officer aimed the front left corner of his patrol car into the front left wheel of the wrong-way driver's vehicle. The action was successful and caused the wrong-way vehicle to enter the depressed dirt median which divides the northbound and southbound lanes of I-17. The officer backed up to the wrong way vehicle and blocked further movement. There were no injuries during this collision.

The driver, Marilyn Vaughn of Phoenix, was arrested and charged with DUI alcohol, aggravated assault, criminal damage, and five counts of endangerment. Vaughn was booked into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde.

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