Bus driver allegedly crashed on Golden Gate Bridge, arrested for suspected DUI

Angela Teasley, 34, of Richmond, was driving a 2004 passenger bus owned by Modesto-based Storer Transportation Services north on U.S. Highway 101 when she allegedly crashed into the right side rail on the Golden Gate Bridge around 9:25 a.m., CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

Teasley allegedly kept driving and eventually a passenger called 911 on her cellphone to report the crash, Sloat said.

The passenger said Teasley was allegedly driving erratically at unsafe speeds and passing on the right shoulder. Other drivers called in reports about the bus as it continued north on the highway, Sloat said.

CHP officers were in a position to stop the bus as it drove through Petaluma, but delays in relaying information kept officers from getting in front of it, Sloat said.

Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officers stopped the bus around 10:15 a.m. as it entered the parking lot of the casino and detained Teasley until CHP officers arrived, according to Sloat.

CHP officials allege Teasley appeared intoxicated and a DUI evaluation estimated her blood-alcohol content at almost four times the 0.08 percent that is considered driving under the influence. None of the passengers were injured, Sloat said.

Teasley was booked in the county jail on suspicion of DUI and operating a commercial vehicle while impaired.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/casino-bound-bus-driver-allegedly-crashed-on-golden-gate-bridge-arrested-for-suspected-dui

Judge sentences Tennessee truck driver to 25 years in fatal crash

A Tennessee truck driver who killed two people in a 2016 crash on Route 17 in the town of Washington two years ago will serve 25 years in prison.

Randall Weddle, 55, of Tennessee was sentenced Friday following a weeklong trial in January, at which a Knox County Jury convicted Weddle on 15 counts, including two counts of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated driving under the influence.

Justice William Stokes on Friday issued a total sentence of 30 years in prison with all but 25 years suspended. The sentence will be followed by four years of probation.

Weddle was carrying a load of lumber on March 18, 2016, when he crashed into oncoming traffic, striking two cars and sending one into a field where it burst into flames.

[Witnesses in trucker’s manslaughter trial recall ‘unreal’ crash scene]

Christina Torres-York, 45, of Warren and Paul Fowles, 74, of Owls Head died in the crash.

Blood tests taken following the incident show that Weddle was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He also told investigators that he was sick and on prescription medication. In the days leading up to the crash, Weddle also manipulated his driving logs to make it appear he was driving fewer hours than he actually was.

[Police: Truck driver in crash that killed two was drunk, speeding]

According to the state’s sentencing memo, Weddle has 48 prior convictions of motor vehicle crimes, including 12 operating under the influence convictions in four different states. At the time of the crash, Weddle’s license was suspended in Louisiana and revoked in Virginia — where he was living with his wife.

“I am completely stunned with Mr. Weddle’s record,” Stokes said.

Despite the suspensions, he was able to obtain a Tennessee license, which has an address of “a buddy’s house he stayed at when he was having marital problems,” according to the memo.

Stokes said he was “genuinely mystified” that Weddle was able to obtain a license in Tennessee.

Given that Weddle was driving a “massive projectile object” while impaired, Stokes said that it “is in the court’s view that this is one of the most serious ways you can commit manslaughter.”

“It’s a wonder, frankly, that four people weren’t killed that day,” he said.

The state asked for a total sentence of 50 years in prison with all but 40 years suspended and four years probation. The defense asked for a sentence of 20 years with all but nine years suspended with a four year probation period.

While the sentence tilts toward the “historically high” spectrum of sentences for manslaughter, Stokes said that Weddle’s “staggering” driving and criminal record, along with the fact that he was driving a fully loaded tractor trailer while impaired, were aggravating factors in his sentencing decisions.

A manslaughter conviction carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence. Prior to trial, the prosecution offered a plea deal with a sentence of 30 years with all but 20 suspended, but the defense rejected the deal.

The courtroom was filled Friday with family and friends of the victims, who detailed how their lives have been affected by the crash.

Torres-York was due to graduate in May from a program that would certify her as a substance abuse counselor. Last year, her daughter gave birth to what would be her first grandchild.

Fowles, a Navy veteran, helped nurse his wife through cancer. Stokes called him “the epitome of a good man.”

“There are so many victims. There is so much hurt, it ripples everywhere,” Stokes said. “The enormity of it simply cannot be grasped.”

‘Completely stunned’ judge sentences Tennessee truck driver to 25 years in fatal crash

2 NYPD officers busted for drunk driving in separate incidents

Two members of the NYPD — one in a high-ranking post and the other a just a rookie — were busted early Sunday morning for separate incidents of drinking and driving, police said.

NYPD Sgt. William Shaleesh, 48, crashed his 2016 Hyundai into a parked car on East 34th Street near Avenue U in Brooklyn just after 12:30 a.m. Cops responded to a 911 call at the location to find the sergeant allegedly drunk, police said.

Shaleesh has more than 25 years on the force, most recently with the department’s Special Operations Division. He was suspended without pay and charged with driving while intoxicated.

It was not immediately clear if Shaleesh, a Brooklyn resident, was alone in the car at the time.

Less than two hours later, NYPD Cadet Olano Gayle, 21, was driving his 2006 Audi in the wrong direction on Grand Concourse near East 156th Street in the Bronx just before 2:30 a.m. when he rear-ended an ambulance.

But instead of pulling over following the crash, the cadet fled the scene in his car — still traveling the wrong way on Grand Concourse, police said.

Gayle, whose friends were with him at the time, was stopped by cops near East 159th Street and arrested.

https://nypost.com/2018/03/18/nypd-cadet-busted-for-drunk-driving/

CDOT Has ‘The Cannabis Conversation’ At Community Open House

DENVER – People talk about pot in Colorado every day. Whether they’re buying it, using it, or getting a whiff of it while cruising down the road.

cdot cannabis conversation 10pkg transfer frame 0 CDOT Has The Cannabis Conversation At Community Open House

But a cannabis conversation inside a Denver recreation center Wednesday was a bit different.

The subject – driving high. It’s a big problem in our state and the reason why the Colorado Department of Transportation recently launched their multi-year safety campaign “The Cannabis Conversation.”

cdot cannabis conversation 10pkg transfer frame 330 CDOT Has The Cannabis Conversation At Community Open House

They want to talk with the public about the dangers of driving high, and why some think it’s okay to get behind the wheel while under the influence of marijuana.

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“For me, I feel like sometimes using cannabis doesn’t make me impaired, it actually makes me focused,” Alex Rubin, a regular cannabis consumer, said.

Rubin said he attended CDOT’s open house meeting at the Montclair Recreation Center “to just be a little more informed.” He told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann he uses cannabis every day and knows his limits.

As for if he’s ever used and then gotten behind the wheel…

“I know if I feel more stoney or more cloudy, I know that I probably should be doing anything cognitive,” Rubin explained. “But that doesn’t’ mean I should never use and then get under the wheel.”

cdot cannabis conversation 10pkg transfer frame 630 CDOT Has The Cannabis Conversation At Community Open House

But that is exactly what some marijuana companies, health groups and especially Colorado State Patrol – all who had Q & A booths at the meeting – say drivers shouldn’t do.

“It is not okay to drive a motor vehicle if you’re utilizing marijuana,” CSP Sgt. Rob Madden said to the small group who attended the meeting.

cdot cannabis conversation 10pkg transfer frame 480 CDOT Has The Cannabis Conversation At Community Open House

“They’re saying that any form of cannabis consumption is not okay, and if you’re using cannabis, you should never drive or do anything,” he said. “I think that is a little bit skewed in some ways for people who use cannabis every day.”

Rubin added that cannabis affects everyone differently, especially in the various ways it can be consumed. He said he is happy CDOT has launched a conversation around marijuana, but he thinks the focus should be on defining impairment.

cdot cannabis conversation 10pkg transfer frame 1704 CDOT Has The Cannabis Conversation At Community Open House

(credit: CBS)

“Where is that bar? Where is that line? I think an educational campaign from people or dispensaries that are selling the products is an important way to do it,” he said.

CDOT is continuing ‘The Cannabis Conversation’ in Fort Collins on Tuesday, March 27.

For more details and to take an online survey to weigh in on the issue, visit: https://www.codot.gov/safety/alcohol-and-impaired-driving/druggeddriving.

CDOT Has ‘The Cannabis Conversation’ At Community Open House

Council candidate charged with DUI after car goes in ditch

A county council candidate was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after she drove into a ditch on Jersey Road on March 20, according to the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office.

Julie D. Brewington, 51, of Salisbury, told a responding deputy that she drove off the road when she received a phone call, the sheriff’s office said.

Brewington is a Republican candidate for an at-large seat on the Wicomico County Council in the upcoming Primary Election.

The single-vehicle crash took place just before 8:30 p.m. on Jersey Road near Adkins Road in Salisbury. An investigation showed that after leaving the roadway, the operator appeared to drive approximately 75 yards in the ditch parallel to the road, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy met with Brewington, the operator of the vehicle, and detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage, the sheriff’s office said. Brewington was slurring her words, appeared confused and was uncooperative, according to the sheriff’s office.

Brewington refused to sign paperwork related to the DUI arrest, the sheriff’s office said. The deputy transported Brewington to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. Following an initial appearance, the commissioner released Brewington on personal recognizance.

In addition to the DUI charge, she also was charged with using a handheld telephone while her vehicle was in motion, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, negligent driving and driving while impaired by alcohol.

http://ux.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2018/03/21/wicomico-council-candidate-charged-dui-after-car-goes-ditch/445904002/

Courtroom erupts after man found guilty in fatal crash

GOSHEN – Minutes after an Orange County jury convicted Gregory Cardona of criminally negligent homicide and reckless driving in the crash death of girlfriend Ashley Martinez, months of tensions and resentment between the two families exploded into shouts and name-calling.

The fracas started Wednesday morning just after deputies led Cardona out of court to the inmate holding area, when Assistant District Attorney Matthew Healy stepped toward the rail to speak to Martinez’s family, who filled one side of the gallery.

From the crowd across the courtroom, Cardona’s stepfather muttered an insult at Healy, which set off a woman in Martinez’s family.

“We lost Ashley!” she shouted, adding an insult. “She’s dead! She’s dead!” the woman wailed.

Several court officers stationed in the courtroom for the verdict quickly stepped between the families, keeping them separated despite attempts by a few people to get at the other side.

An Orange County Court jury found Cardona, 28, guilty of criminally negligent homicide, a felony, and reckless driving, a misdemeanor, in the Aug. 30, 2016 crash that killed 25-year-old Martinez. The jury acquitted Cardona on the top count, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and a misdemeanor count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, a decision that seemed to stun both families.

The verdict suggests that jurors did not find proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Cardona was impaired by marijuana. Healy and Senior Assistant District Attorney Lorri Goldberg argued at trial that Cardona was high and driving recklessly at the time of the crash.

Cardona, 28, of New Windsor, faces up to two to four years in prison on the criminally negligent homicide charge. That time could run consecutively to the aggregate four to 12 years in prison Cardona is serving for violating probation on previous grand larceny and forgery charges.

The courtroom was silent as Judge Robert Freehill took the verdict, as the jury was polled and as the jury exited.

Goldberg asked the judge to order Cardona held without bail, and to return him to prison to await sentencing.

Cardona’s lawyer, Jaime Santana, asked that Cardona be kept at Orange County Jail.

“Mr. Cardona is remanded, and he will be returning to state prison,” Freehill ruled, and deputies led Cardona out of the courtroom.

Freehill called a recess, and no one in the gallery stood.

After a few moments of silence, the fracas began.

As the court officers worked to hold back and calm people, the woman continued screaming in grief and anger, tears falling. Shouting continued from a couple of people on each side. At one point, as the court security held back family members, Cardona’s stepfather stepped on a bench to reach over an officer. The officers, and it appeared other relatives, quickly got him down.

A few minutes later, court officers ushered Martinez’s family out of the courtroom.

Cardona’s family remained in the courtroom until court officers got the clear sign that Martinez’s family had left the premises, a procedure court security staff has used since the start of the case because of the simmering tensions.

Cardona will be sentenced June 5.

http://www.recordonline.com/news/20180321/courtroom-erupts-after-man-found-guilty-in-fatal-crash

Impaired Driver Mistakes Jail Booth For Drive-Thru, Orders Breakfast

A Long Island woman’s quest for breakfast ended in a jail cell after police say she drove up to a jail security booth and mistook it for a fast food drive-thru window.

Lizabeth Ildefonso, of Jamesport, N.Y., was arrested on March 16 after she drove up to the Suffolk County jail and tried to order a “bacon, egg, and cheese.” According to the Riverhead News-Review, the 44-year-old was told by Suffolk County deputies that she was really at a jail but kept demanding breakfast. Ildefonso “insisted that she really wanted a sandwich,” the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Officers at the jail noticed that Ildefonso’s eyes were glassy and she had a white powder in her left nose before performing a sobriety check. After “performing poorly” in a field sobriety test, the woman was arrested for driving while impaired by drugs. Police also noted that the 44-year-old was driving without a valid license.

The Sheriff’s office says Deputy Sheriff Yvonne DeCaro, who arrested Ildefonso, had just completed a course to help identify impaired drivers.

“It apparently was put to good use today although the surrounding circumstances were a little unexpected,” the Sheriff’s office added.

Impaired Driver Mistakes Jail Booth For Drive-Thru, Orders Breakfast

Deputies arrest man they say rammed deputy’s vehicle with stolen pickup

 

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 29-year-old Yakima man awaiting trial on possessing a stolen motor vehicle and domestic violence charges is accused of ramming a sheriff’s deputy’s patrol vehicle with a stolen pickup early Tuesday morning.

Bail was set Tuesday at $100,000 in Yakima County Superior Court for the suspect. At the time of his arrest, he had been released from jail as part of the court’s pretrial release program, which required him to check in regularly with court staff.

In the latest incident, a deputy had stopped a Chevrolet pickup for a minor traffic violation near Branch and South Wapato roads about 12:10 a.m., according to court documents. When the deputy learned the truck had been reported stolen in Yakima, he tried to get the driver to step out of the vehicle, but the suspect instead drove off, a probable-cause affidavit said.

Deputies and Washington State Patrol, Wapato and Yakama Nation Tribal police officers joined the pursuit, the affidavit said, with speeds reaching 70 mph. The truck stopped on Progressive Road, and the driver then rammed the back of the truck into a deputy’s vehicle, court records said.

The truck became high-centered on the deputy’s hood, as the suspect continued to gun the engine, the affidavit said.

Authorities said the suspect tried to bite deputies as they took him into custody. One of the deputies used a Taser stun gun twice to subdue the suspect, the affidavit said.

The deputy’s vehicle was rendered inoperable, but no deputies had any injuries requiring medical care, according to the sheriff’s office.

The suspect is being held on suspicion of first- and third-degree assault, eluding police, possessing a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest, driving under the influence of intoxicants and third-degree driving with a suspended license.

https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/crime_and_courts/yakima-county-deputies-arrest-man-they-say-rammed-deputy-s/article_77db9268-26c4-11e8-a46e-7f7a090796d5.html

Hit-and-run driver pinned dad between cars in parking lot

Mohammed Fawad Mohammadi, 27, told the Portland Tribune that he was visiting Oregon’s coastline with his wife and infant son on March 6 when got involved in a minor car accident in a Walgreens parking lot in Lincoln City.

After Mohammadi and his wife got out of their car, police said the other driver, identified as Perry Nicolopoulous, 68, put his car in reverse and backed up toward the couple for a second time while their young son was still inside their vehicle. Mohammadi said he pushed his wife away but was pinned between the two vehicles.

Police said Nicolopoulous then drove toward Mohammadi again, striking his car a third time as he managed to roll away.

“I called to my wife to grab the baby and run,” he told the Portland Tribune. “She acted quickly, but our car was rammed three times with the baby inside. I’m so lucky they’re both OK.”

Mohammadi was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Portland, where he underwent surgery to repair his leg, which was severely crushed, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by a coworker to help offset his lofty medical expenses.

“Currently it appears that he is suffering from the crushed leg, broken hips, fractured spine and numerous facial injuries,” according to the website, which garnered more than $33,000 in donations as of Wednesday. “At this writing he is undergoing a second surgery to save the leg. The doctors have prepared him for the high likelihood that the surgery will not be successful.”

Peter Sollom, director of the Palisades Market grocery store in Lake Oswego, where Mohammadi works, said Mohammadi immigrated to the United States nearly three years ago from his native Afghanistan, where he worked as an interpreter for the US military for four years. He was also known to customers and colleagues as the “soup king” due to his affinity for tinkering with some of the recipes at the grocery store.

Stephanie Ballard Agramonte, who started the GoFundMe page, said many staffers at the location were angry when they learned of the hit-and-run accident.

“The evening we got the details on what happened, so many people had the same reaction: ‘People are horrible. Can you believe what people will do?’” Agramonte told the Portland Tribune.

Investigators believe the crash was an “intentional act,” Jason Palmer, a spokesperson for the Lincoln City Police Department, told The Oregonian on Tuesday.

Nicolopoulos was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was later additionally charged with attempted murder and assault. He remains in custody at the Lincoln County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He’s scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, The Oregonian reports.

Palmer said there’s no indication thus far that the deliberate attack constituted a hate crime, although investigators had not yet determined a motive.

“It appears that the victim was random,” Palmer said. “We find no connection between these two individuals.”

Mohammadi, meanwhile, expects to be hospitalized for another month, and full recovery might come within six months, he said. For now, he’s enjoying well-wishes from strangers and the love of his wife and young son.

“I feel so great when I saw all of my friends coming in, people coming to say hi and to relax with me,” he told the Portland Tribune. “Even people I don’t know, seeing them say nice things about me on Facebook. They wrote things wishing me health. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

https://nypost.com/2018/03/14/hit-and-run-driver-pinned-dad-between-cars-in-parking-lot-cops/

Woman had drugs in system in fatal Interstate crash

Amanda Runtz