Patchogue, NY - January 28, 2016 - Suffolk County Police have arrested a Florida man for driving while intoxicated following a wrong way crash involving a police vehicle in Patchogue early this morning.
Highway Patrol officers responded to eastbound Sunrise Highway following a 911 call regarding a vehicle traveling the wrong way at approximately 3 a.m. In an effort to protect other eastbound motorists, Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Verdi responded and slowed traffic by activating his emergency lights and weaving between the lanes of travel. Verdi’s vehicle was struck head on by a 2012 Ford Van, driven by Steven Hennessy, just east of Nicolls Road.
Hennessy, 43, of North Port, Florida, was not injured. Hennessy was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Reckless Endangerment 2nd Degree and Reckless Assault 3rd Degree.
Officer Verdi was transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue where he was treated for minor injuries and released.
The vehicle was impounded and the investigation is continuing.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.