Major changes to the QEII around Gasoline Alley, and more traffic, mean Red Deer County has been busy with road work in the area, including new roundabouts.The area recently opened its third roundabout, at the intersection of Laura and Liberty Avenues between Trail Appliances and Costco.Part of the construction the county undertook this summer eliminated Township Road 374A, which had run from Liberty Avenue south to Lantern Street. Access to Proform Concrete was maintained, but a stretch of road that ran alongside Trail Appliances no longer exists.Chris Black, Red Deer County construction manager, said roundabouts have numerous benefits such as fewer conflict points with pedestrians and motorists, reduced potential for t-bone collisions, the elimination of head-on and high speed collisions and reductions in fatalities, injuries and crashes.“We are pleased that we have been able to accommodate traffic circles at two new locations on Laura Avenue in Gasoline Alley since modern roundabouts are now proven to be substantially safer than signalized intersections,” said Black in an email.County officials said the project coincided with the major changes to how vehicles get in and out of Gasoline Alley from the south lanes of the QEII.Roundabouts are designed to improve the flow of traffic, and increased traffic in the area is predicted with the development of new businesses and residences.“We anticipate that benefits will also be felt by the developers of existing vacant lots in this area as well as for the new Liberty Landing residential subdivision that is currently under construction,” said Black.There are already roundabouts at the intersections of Leva Avenue and Lantern Street and at Lantern Street and Laura Avenue in Gasoline Alley.Alberta Transportation will construct an additional roundabout at the north end of the west side of Gasoline Alley at the intersection of Leva Avenue and Waskasoo Avenue.Red Deer has also built roundabouts at major intersections in recent years, including two on 67th Street, at the intersections of 30th Avenue and Johnstone Drive.
A Georgia police department and one of its officers has been sued for arresting three people based on a report by a “drug recognition expert” who accused each of driving under the influence of marijuana.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia filed the lawsuit earlier this week in federal court in Atlanta against the Cobb County Police Department, arguing that the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful seizures were violated.
The three plaintiffs — Katelyn Ebner, Princess Mbamara and Ayokunle Oriyomi — were falsely arrested, forced to have blood drawn and trapped in jail for hours “simply because a police officer had a hunch, based on deeply flawed drug-recognition training, that they might have been smoking marijuana,” said Sean J. Young, the ACLU’s legal director.
“At no point did the police officer seek to obtain a warrant or suggest that they were endangering public safety. None of the plaintiffs were under the influence of marijuana, and all tested negative for any cannabinoid metabolites,” the lawsuit said.
Months later, prosecutors dismissed the charges in each case, Young said.
Ebner, 25, of Kennesaw, had no arrest record prior to this case; Mbamara, 27, is an immigrant from Lagos, Nigeria and currently a student at Atlanta Metropolitan State College; and Oriyomi, 21, of Powder Springs, is currently a student at Auburn University.
“All three plaintiffs now have public arrest records that they will have to explain to schools, landlords and employers for the rest of their lives,” the lawsuit said.
A police spokesman did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The police officer, Tracy “T.T.” Carroll, is one of the department’s certified drug recognition experts. He either stopped or participated in a stop of each of the plaintiffs on three separate occasions for “failing to maintain lane.”
“Defendant Carroll did not perform the 12-Step DRE Protocol that was ostensibly created for the purpose of detecting whether someone has been driving under the influence of drugs. Instead he performed a watered-down version of the test” and arrested each of the plaintiffs for driving under the influence of drugs, the lawsuit said.
Carroll was never reprimanded or disciplined for failing to follow DRE Protocol or for making the arrests, the ACLU said.
“Carroll’s pattern and practice of enforcing DUI-drug infractions was to arrest an individual based on nothing more than a hunch, which would be invariably ratified by the results of an ad hoc smattering of tests he administered which were divorced from any rigorous methodology and were without the foundational underpinning necessary to amount to legal justification to arrest,” the lawsuit said.
“The way that Cobb County Police Officers, such as defendant Carroll, are taught to and do administer their testing for the detection of impairment by drugs is designed to make innocent behavior appear incriminating and to make exculpatory behavior appear irrelevant.”
The lawsuit seeks obtain compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys’ fees.
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. —Action News Investigates has learned the West Mifflin school board narrowly voted against suspending Superintendent Daniel Castagna after he was charged with driving under the influence. Sources say the vote came after a heated discussion behind closed doors.According to a police report, Castagna was pulled over at 3 a.m. Friday while driving on Interstate 376 westbound near the Center Township exit in Beaver County.AdvertisementA state trooper saw his car “weaving erratically and then abruptly swerve to the right,” according to the police report. When the trooper pulled him over, Castagna was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. A hospital test showed Castagna had a blood alcohol level of .15, nearly twice the legal limit.Stay updated with breaking news: Download the WTAE mobile appCastagna faces charges of driving under the influence, careless driving and traffic offenses. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 27.Castagna was not immediately available for comment.District Solicitor, Matthew Racunas, released the following statement:As reported, the District’s Superintendent is being charged with DUI during non-work hours. Dr. Castagna has informed the District that he has not yet received any documents relating to the charges.The District takes these allegations seriously. However, the law requires that Dr. Castagna be provided with due process. Currently, there are no convictions relating to any offense. The District will continue to closely monitor the situation as it proceeds through the court system going forward. Beyond that, at this time, the District cannot comment further as this remains a confidential personnel matter.
An off-duty LAPD officer was the driver of a Chevy Camaro that rear-ended a vehicle on the 605 Freeway in Whittier on Tuesday night, killing its three occupants, the California Highway Patrol said.Joseph Serna and Kate MatherContact ReportersThe Los Angeles Police Department has opened an administrative investigation after one of its officers was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a boy and his parents Tuesday night.The officer, 26-year-old Edgar Verduzco, was driving a 2016 Chevy Camaro in the southbound carpool lane of the 605 Freeway about 10:30 p.m. in Whittier when, for reasons still unknown, he steered the vehicle to the right and into the fast lane, where it collided with the rear of a Nissan carrying a mother, father and their son, the California Highway Patrol said.The Nissan, which had been traveling about 65 mph, burst into flames, trapping the family inside, the CHP said. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. The boy was believed to be in his teens, CHP Officer Al Perez said. The victims probably won’t be positively identified until at least next week because the bodies are so badly charred, the coroner said.After colliding with the Nissan, Verduzco’s Camaro continued into the No. 2 lane, where it struck a Toyota Scion before coming to a stop, the CHP said. The driver of the Scion suffered minor injuries.
Chief Charlie Beck addressed his officer’s arrest at a news conference Wednesday.“My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and I cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I am that a Los Angeles police officer would disregard the law and cause an accident with such awful, awful consequences,” Beck said. “This is an awful, awful thing.”The agency has opened an administrative investigation into Verduzco and is cooperating with the CHP, he said.Verduzco is an Army veteran who did a tour in Afghanistan and joined the department two years ago, Beck said. Verduzco was stationed at the front desk of the Central Division and has had an “unremarkable” career thus far, Beck said.Beck said it was too early in the case to discuss discipline, but he said that if the allegations proved to be true, it could merit sending the officer to a disciplinary board for potential termination.The officer will continue to be paid pending further disciplinary action by the department.Verduzco suffered a broken nose in the crash and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI causing injuries, authorities said. He is being held on $100,000 bail.The Los Angeles Police Protective League also released a statement regarding Verduzco’s arrest.“No words can express our deep sorrow over this horrible tragedy and the loss this family will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” the union’s statement said. “There’s never an excuse for driving under the influence, and if Officer Verduzco is found guilty of what he is accused of, then he should suffer the consequences for his reckless actions.”There were no open containers or alcohol in the car, but Verduzco showed symptoms of intoxication, Perez said.A SigAlert was issued and traffic lanes were shut down. They reopened before 4 a.m. Wednesday.The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – A man who was arrested in Plain Township, Ohio last week hoped his girlfriend would come pick him up from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.
She did, but there was a problem. She was drunk, too.
According to the sheriff’s office, a sergeant first spotted 23-year-old Kristopher Fox speeding. He ended up clocking Fox going 42 mph in a 25 mph zone.
The sergeant initiated a traffic stop. As he was approaching the car, he said he smelled a strong odor of alcohol.
In the report, the sergeant said he observed an empty 12-pack of beer of the passenger seat, as well as another 12-pack with a couple beers missing.
Fox allegedly admitted to drinking “a few beers.” The sergeant conducted field sobriety tests, which Fox failed. He ultimately took a breathalyzer test with a .147 BAC result.
He was taken to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and charged with OVI. He asked that authorities call his girlfriend to pick him up.
The sergeant called his girlfriend, 29-year-old Brandi Rae Coen, but over the phone, she appeared to sound intoxicated.
The sergeant told her that, if she was drunk, she shouldn’t drive, according to the sheriff’s office report. She said she was okay and that she had not been drinking.
When Coen showed up, the sergeant said she smelled like alcohol, had glassy eyes and appeared to have trouble walking.
During field sobriety testing, she reportedly said she was too drunk and told the sergeant to just take her to jail.
After she was arrested, authorities found two children in her car — ages 5 and 9.
Coen also took a breathalyzer test and registered a .162 BAC. She was charged with OVI and two counts of child endangering.
The Springfield Public Schools director of transportation has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
The district says it’s aware of Rick Emling’s situation and is reviewing all the information relating to it.
But in a news release, R-12 Spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe says “personnel issues are confidential, so at this time, I do not have any additional information to share.”
Emling was stopped by a state trooper just after midnight Saturday morning near Sunshine and Lone Pine in Springfield, and according to a Highway Patrol arrest report, he failed to signal and drive within a single lane.
Emling was booked into the Greene County jail, but was released sometime over the weekend.
He does not face any formal charges at this time.
CAPE CORAL, Fla. –
The victim in last week’s crash involving a Lee County commissioner in Cape Coral has hired a lawyer.
The woman police say was hit by Commissioner John Manning, Justine Maher, told us she’s looking for the professional guidance and support through the process. She’s also looking for money for medical expenses and to fix her car.
According to the police report, the commissioner ran a red light and crashed into Maher’s vehicle before slamming into a light pole in a nearby parking lot.
After failing several tests, Manning was arrested, facing three DUI-related charges, including two counts of damaging property.
Gets 2-Year Driving Ban
Soccer superstar Wayne Rooney has apologized for driving drunk during a Sept. 1 incident — after officials say he was more than THREE TIMES the legal limit.
As we previously reported, the English soccer legend was pulled over in Cheshire, England in the early morning on Sept. 1 while driving a VW Beetle with a female passenger.
The 31-year-old Everton striker appeared in court Monday morning and pled guilty to drunk driving, according to the BBC.
The judge told Rooney, “You placed yourself and other road users at risk as a result of your poor judgement that night.”
“I accept your remorse is genuine and that you are aware of the adverse affects the events of that night have had, not least on your family.”
Rooney was sentenced to a 2-year driving ban and has 12 months to complete 100 hours of community service.
After the hearing, Rooney issued a statement saying, “I want publicly to apologise for my unforgiveable lack of judgement in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong.”
“I have already said sorry to my family, my manager and chairman and everyone at Everton FC.”
“Now I want to apologise to all the fans and everyone else who has followed and supported me throughout my career.”
“Of course I accept the sentence of the court and hope that I can make some amends through my community service.”
Raymond Mong, 49, was driving a two-year-old tour bus owned by Flushing-based Dahlia Group Inc., and travelling up to 62 mph at the time of the Monday crash in Flushing that also injured 16 people, officials said.
The Department of Motor Vehicles has “no record” of being notified by Dahlia of Mong’s employment at the bus company as required by state law given his prior arrest for DUI, according to DMV spokeswoman Tiffany Portzer.
“This is an ongoing state and federal investigation and we cannot comment further,” Portzer said.
Before Mong crashed the Dahlia tour bus into a Q20 bus packed with riders, he was arrested for drunkenly causing a three-car crash in Connecticut in 2015.
Police records show Mong was behind the wheel of a 2002 Honda on April 10, 2015 when he caused the chain car crash on the Exit-51 off-ramp from southbound I-95 and fled.
State police later found Mong and arrested him on several charges including operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The DUI bust cost Mong his job as a bus driver for the MTA, where he worked for several years before Dahlia, according to sources.
Meanwhile, Robert Accetta of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, said Tuesday at a press conference that investigators determined through a surveillance video of the wreck that the tour bus was travelling between 54 and 62 mph. The speed limit in that area is 30 mph.
Accetta said that the agency does not have a cause of the crash yet and that the on-scene investigation will last between 6 and 10 days.
“Throughout the next few days our investigators will work on scene to thoroughly document the accident site and gather factual information,” Accetta said. “Our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened and to recommend changes to prevent it from happening again.”
Authorities are awaiting toxicology tests to determine if Mong was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
Investigators are also probing whether driver fatigue played a role in the deadly wreck.
According to Accetta, Mong was properly licensed in the state of New York and had a valid medical certificate.
Investigators are also looking at records from the tour bus company involving driver’s logs, vehicle inspections and maintenance and operating procedures as well as a GPS device found in the commercial bus driven by Mong.
Dahlia has been cooperative with officials, said Accetta.
Two people are facing drunk driving charges for operating the same BMW before and after a motor vehicle crash, Mount Olive Police said.
At about 11:16 p.m. Wednesday, Officer Matthew Anderson responded to Route 46 in Budd Lake near the entrance to the Route 80 East ramp for a reported traffic accident, police said.
The caller said a green BMW was involved in the accident and had left the scene, police said.
Anderson made contact with the victim, who was driving a 2006 Volvo on Route 46 East when it was struck by the BMW, police said.
The BMW involved was found at the nearby Conoco gas station on Route 46 West, police said.
It was occupied by Saad Shah, 19, of Budd Lake, and Dylan Martell, 20, of Dover, police said.
An investigation revealed Shah was driving the BMW at the time of the cash, and Martell drove the vehicle away from the crash and into the Conoco parking lot, police said.
While speaking with Shah and Martell, Anderson detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage and both appeared to be impaired, police said.
Shah and Martell were then arrested and taken to police headquarters, where both submitted to chemical breath testing.
Shah was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, and failure to exhibit a driver’s license.
Martell was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane.
Both Shah and Martell were released to a sober driver pending a court appearance.