Driver went wrong way for 10+ miles before trooper crashed into him in Tempe, docs say
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper made a bold and courageous decision to stop a wrong-way driver by crashing into him on the Loop 101 in Tempe early Sunday morning after the suspect had gone the wrong way for more than 10 miles. Around 4:35 a.m., DPS started receiving calls about a wrong-way driver. According to court documents, 22-year-old Isaiah Luis Llanos was spotted going east in the westbound lanes on Interstate 10 near 40th Street. He kept going the wrong way on the U.S. 60 and then going south in the northbound lanes of the Loop 101. While Llanos was driving, investigators say 12 people called 911 and reported they had to swerve to avoid being hit.
A trooper spotted Llanos and tried to pull him over. Court documents say the trooper slowed down in hopes that Llanos would stop or pull over, but he continued driving. Then, making a split-second decision, the trooper used his SUV to hit Llanos’s car head-on to bring it to a stop near Baseline Road. Video from the scene showed front-end damage on both vehicles.
After the crash, the trooper got out of his SUV and asked Llanos multiple times what he was doing. Court documents say the trooper could smell alcohol coming from Llanos. He was arrested shortly afterward. Llanos and the trooper were both taken to the hospital. The trooper had back pain and a swollen left hand, and Llanos had minor injuries.
In an interview with police, Llanos told officers he was at a house party and had shots and a couple of drinks. According to court documents, Llanos then said he was driving because his friends wouldn’t let him stay at their house, and he refused to have someone drive him home. Investigators say that he admitted he left because he was mad his friends wouldn’t let him stay. He also told police he didn’t know he was driving the wrong way and believed he was driving over 90 miles an hour.
According to court documents, Llanos had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.093%. He was booked on 12 counts of endangerment, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and three DUI charges.
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