Since last reporting there have been 26 additional news reports picked up for wrong-way collisions across America and one from jolly-old England. Drunken drivers continue to be the main cause although old-age confusion, diabetic confusion, youthful inexperience and criminal behavior are repeated causes as well.

Since my last report in the twenty-part series here on the InjuryBoard I’ve wondered how many of the elderly wrong-way drivers suffer from prescription drug confusion or the affects of taking multiple prescriptions. That should be something the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies. My understanding of these collisions is they occur more in the northbound lanes on the interstate highway system. It could be because we are mostly right-handed type thinkers reading left to right rather than right to left. Is there a connection? I have no idea but it’s something that should be examined.  

Dallas, Texas – Friday, July 31, 2009 – This wrong-way collision occurred on I-20 westbound lanes along the divided highway near Polk Street in the Red Bird area about 12:30 a.m. Alcohol may have been a factor. The entry point was not determined.  Three people reported to have been killed.  

Chicago, Illinois – About 1:35 a.m. on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) south of downtown, northbound lanes, wrong-way driver was heading south near Halsted Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood driving a 2003 Audi striking a 1993 Toyota head-on. A 38-year-old female passenger in the Toyota died.

Brownsville, Texas – Highway 71, 10 people injured. Northbound lanes, southbound wrong-way driver.

Providence, Rhode IslandAugust 3, 2009 – A 50-year-old man driving the wrong-way on I-95 early Sunday morning caused three crashes and the police allege alcohol was a cause. Two people were hospitalized. A video from Channel 12-WPRI Eyewitness News is available by following the link.

Seville, EnglandAugust 16, 2009 – A wrong-way collision on the A-4 near Seville killed one man. He tried to cross over the center lane and was struck by a semi-trailer and was himself killed.

Queen Creek, ArizonaAugust 15, 2009 – A 53-year-old man driving on the wrong-side of the street is reported to have struck a bicyclist at around 2:00 a.m. on Ocotillo Road near 228th Street. Driver of the at-fault vehicle was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor.

Toledo, Ohio - August 14, 2009 – A wrong-way collision on I-280 at 5:00 a.m. starting at Greenbelt Parkway, going south in the northbound lanes after crossing over the Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge near St. Rt. 795. In this instance a diabetic condition is said to have caused confusion or a condition similar to alcohol intoxication for the 64-year-old driver that was not killed. Non life-threatening conditions were sustained. There is a video you can watch from ABC Channel 13, Toledo, Ohio. She drove for miles. The advice Ohio State Troopers are given is to drive in the right lane as they approach the crest of a hill.

Greenville County, S.C. – August 14, 2009 – An 88-year-old driving a Ford Ranger north on I-385 south struck a Chevy Tahoe head-on; no one was killed.

Marlborough, MassachusettsAugust 13, 2009 – A police chase after a man driving a stolen truck drove the wrong-way on I-495. The man was 38-years of age

Stratford, South Carolina – In this wrong-way collision a 20-year-old South Carolina man drove the wrong-way on I-95 and reportedly narrowly missed a head-on collision with a semi-truck. Alcohol is believed to have been involved. Several 911 calls reported a driver going the wrong-way from Strafford to Fairfield south in the northbound lanes.

Little Chute, Wisconsin – August 12, 2009 – In this one a 55-year-old man was driving south in the northbound lanes of 441 near County OO/Northland Avenue at around 3 p.m. The wrong-way driver crashed into two northbound vehicles. The driver was cited from driving under the influence of a drug.  No deaths are reported.

Tarrytown, New YorkAugust 9, 2009 - An elderly woman, 76-years, drove the wrong-way when she entered the off-ramp at Exit 9 driving north in the southbound lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge. It’s reported that she even went through the tolls driving the wrong-way. (Does that mean they refund her the toll charge?)

Charlotte, North CarolinaAugust 9, 2009 – I-85 is the scene of this wrong-way collision report of a 21-year-old driver. No cause is mentioned, and here is a quote from the news article. (It should be noted the driver was later charged with DWI.)

Bridges, who lives in Salisbury, said Monday that he's been interviewed by TV news crews and that opinions about his decision to chase the car in the wrong direction have been mixed.

Last month, a 38-year-old Matthews man was arrested after police said he led them on a 20-mile, wrong-way pursuit on I-85 through Mecklenburg and Gaston counties.

In early July, a wrong-way collision killed two people on U.S. 74 outside of Monroe.

In July 2007, a wrong-way crash on I-485 near the Providence Road exit killed both drivers.

Barnes County, North DakotaAugust 11, 2009 – I-94 wrong-way crash with a 64-year-old man driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of travel. The female driver entered at exit 292.  Confusion was apparently the cause.

Wappinger, New YorkAugust 10, 2009 – Four injured in this head-on crash on Route 9 in this three-car mva. Around 7:15 p.m. The driver states he simply lost consciousness prior to the crash and drifted across the divider.  Although titled as a wrong-way crash this may not be one in the true sense.

Hanover Township, PennsylvaniaAugust 10, 2009 – Route 30 is the scene of this accident described as a wrong-way collision. A motorcyclist lost his life when a 19-year-old was driving west in the eastbound lanes of Route 30, just north of Platt Road. Improper passing seems to be the cause along with youthful inexperience. The motorcycle driver was 23-years old.

Fountain Valley, Orange County, CaliforniaAugust 9, 2009 – This wrong-way collision is reported to involve a drunk driver attempting to elude police.

Southfield, Michigan - August 9, 2009 – Eight Mile Road is where this drunken driver drove westbound in the eastbound lanes.  No injuries and no collision before police were able to stop and arrest the driver.

Colorado Springs, ColoradoAugust 7, 2009 – A DUI arrest of a 37-year-old man driving the wrong-way is said to have caused this head-on collision in the eastbound lanes of westbound U.S. 24 near 21st Street at around 2:30 a.m. Reports came in from 2:09 a.m. to 2:24 p.m.

Louisville, KentuckyAugust 5, 2009 – I-65 at 1:15 a.m. just south of Outer Loop heading south in the northbound lanes. No one was killed even though the wrong-way driver was reported to have been speeding. “She was running 90 or better.”

Fremont, California – August 5, 2009 – This wrong-way driver was on I-880 attempting to avoid arrest, which he did, by driving south in the northbound lanes of travel.

Libertyville, IllinoisAugust 4, 2009 – A two-car crash when a wrong-way driver on Route 176 at 6:30 a.m. The driver was charged with with improper lane usage, driving in the wrong lane, driving with a suspended license and having an uninsured motor vehicle in connection.

Chicago, Illinois – August 3, 2009 – I-55 wrong-way crash left one dead from a crash in the northbound lanes of the Stevenson Interstate Highway. No report as the cause. This is a blog report.

Tuscon, Arizona – August 2009 – This wrong-way crash on I-10 killed the 17-year-old young driver.

Hazlet, New Jersey – August 17, 2009 – This wrong-way collision is on the Garden State Parkway heading northbound in the southbound lanes and resulted in minor injuries. The collision occcurred around 5:00 p.m.

Denver, Colorado – August 18, 2009 report indicates a 10-car pileup on I-25 was caused by a wrong-way driver. The wrong-way driver was killed. No report on the cause.

Garrett, Indiana – August 17, 2009 – The wrong-way driver drove south in the northbound lanes of I-69 after loosing control of his car, crossing the median and striking a pole. This isn’t really a wrong-way collision. It’s described that way but not one where a driver enters the highway from an exit ramp or onramp and simply turns the wrong-way. This driver crossed over the median after losing control.

Denver, Colorado – August 17, 2009 – Two women in a wrong-way vehicle fled the one-way street location wher the driver stuck a moped driver. The police continue to look for the driver and passenger. If you have information about these two women your help is needed. If you know who these two women are please call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You could be eligible for a cash reward and may remain anonymous.

Check out the Des Moines Market for InjuryBoard.com and The Verdict at the Lombardi Law Firm for the twenty-plus series of accidents. Perhaps the NHTSA studies will be something to next examine.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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