A wrong-way driver on the Edens Expressway in Illinois drove for over 11 miles early this morning, before being pulled over by police.
A dozen motorists reported the violation to police during the 11 mile drive. During the incident, which lasted roughly 10 minutes, several drivers reported nearly being sideswiped by other motorists, and some were run off the road.
About 2:30 a.m. Thursday, police started receiving numerous calls of a wrong-way driver on the I-94 near Elston. These callers described an SUV traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of the Edens Expressway, and cited multiple locations along Peterson, Touhy, Lake Street, Dempster and Willow.
The driver, Sergio Galvez-Delira. 24, of Glenview, was finally pulled over at Tower Road by Glencoe Police, driving a black 2001 Mitsubishi SUV. He was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, having open alcohol, no insurance and improper lane usage, Illinois State Police said. His driving record shows no previous violations.
“There was a lot of luck,” said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Joseph Stangl. Stangl could not recall another incident of a drunken motorist having traveled so far the wrong way. “The driver managed to avoid striking any other vehicles, but this could have turned into a horrific tragedy based on one driver’s decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.” He credited the timing of the incident and the light traffic on the Edens at that time for avoiding a major crash.
Another trooper commented that drunken drivers often get confused and end up driving the wrong way in the far-left fast lane, thinking they are actually driving in the far-right slow lane.
Additional details on the incident, as well as possible updates, can be found in the December 16 CBS Chicago story titled “Wrong-Way Edens Driver Apologizes For Jeopardizing Motorists,” the Chicago Sun-Times article of December 16 titled “State police release 911 tapes reporting Edens wrong-way driver” and the December 15 Chicago Tribune story titled “Wrong-way driver travels 11 miles on Edens: ‘You don’t have time to think.”
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