Officer injured in wrong-way drunk driving crash

July 18, 2011 2:10:48 PM PDT
A driver headed in the wrong direction on a Westchester County highway hit a police cruiser early Monday morning.

Authorities say the officer, identified as Gerard Cole, suffered a broken wrist after a BMW driven by a man suspected of being drunk struck his patrol car head-on on the Bronx River Parkway in Scarsdale around 4 a.m.

Investigators say the driver of the BMW was traveling the wrong way in the northbound lanes.

That driver, 47-year-old Nelson Escobar of New Rochelle, and the officer were both taken to the hospital.

County police say Escobar failed a field sobriety test and refused a breath test at the scene. He was alone in the car. Blood tests taken at the hospital revealed the suspect's blood alcohol level was .13.

In addition to DUI charges, Escobar faces felony vehicular assault charges along with several traffic infractions. He suffered minor injuries.

Officer Cole, who has spent 15 years as a patrol officer, suffered a broken wrist and a burn from his air bag.

Drivers were advised to avoid the area during the morning commute, as northbound lanes were closed for the accident investigation. Southbound lanes were also subject to intermittent closures.