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Wrong Way Driver Disabled and Detoured During I-17 “Safety Corridor” Campaign

Thursday, September 5, 2013 -

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On Monday September 2, 2013, just after 5:00 a.m., the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) received reports of a vehicle traveling wrong way [southbound] within the northbound traffic lanes of I-17 at milepost 268, north of Cordes Junction.

A DPS Highway Patrol unit responded from State Route 69 in Mayer. The DPS officer positioned his patrol car between the wrong way driver and northbound traffic near milepost 262 along I-17. 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 wrong way [on coming] vehicle 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 DPS officer was successful and caused the wrong way vehicle to enter the depressed dirt median that 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 for DUI alcohol, aggravated assault, criminal damage, and five counts of endangerment. Vaughn was booked into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.