Wrong-way driver on Loop 101 arrested for DUI

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Sheldon Dick (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Sheldon Dick (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A wrong-way driver was arrested on Loop 101 late Friday night.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Sheldon Dick was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of the Loop 101. He was first spotted at Loop 101 and Thunderbird Road.

A DPS motorcycle trooper performed a traffic break, stopping traffic on the freeway. He then was able to catch up with and stop the wrong-way driver at 35th Avenue.

Dick, 37, of Indian Wells, was charged with aggravated DUI and endangerment.

"I am so proud of this trooper," DPS Capt. Tim Mason said. "What he did was truly heroic. The wrong-way driver literally drove by him before he was able to get him stopped."

Wrong-way drivers an ongoing problem

The Arizona Department of Transportation has long been looking at ways to reduce the number of wrong-way crashes.

DPS said it received more than 840 calls about wrong-way drivers in the first six months of 2016.

While not every wrong-way driver call for service reveals an actual wrong-way driver, troopers always respond promptly and treat each call very seriously. 

A recent study shows that from 2004-2014, there were 245 wrong-way crashes in Arizona, resulting in 91 fatalities.

You can view an interactive chart on wrong-way crashes by clicking here.

The high number of wrong-way crashes prompted ADOT to put up hundreds of oversized "wrong way" - and "do not enter" signs along freeway off-ramps in hopes of getting drivers' attention.

But it's not always enough, especially with the number impaired drivers out on the road.

READ MORE: Why spike strips won't stop Arizona's wrong-way crashes

ADOT officials are now working on a Wrong Way Vehicle Detection System that would use existing sensors to alert authorities and other motorists that someone is going the wrong way.

 A prototype of the new technology is expected to be tested along InterstDPS identifies I-17 wrong-way driverate 17 sometime next year, ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said.

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