Wrong Way Driver Forces Multiple Vehicles off Taconic
Phone lines lit up like Christmas trees at the Putnam 9-1-1 Dispatch Center in Carmel Monday afternoon when caller after caller reported a wrong-way driver on the Taconic State Parkway in Putnam Valley.
State Police from Stormville dispatched patrols to the area and within a few minutes found a 1996 Nissan that had crashed into a guiderail at the Route 301 interchange in western Kent.
Troop K Major Michael Kopy said the driver Carmine Labriola, 87, of Mohegan Lake, appeared to be disoriented as he sat behind the wheel: “There was no evidence of alcohol or drug use but the elderly man was taken by ambulance to Putnam Hospital Center for medical evaluation.”
Police said the frightening incident began when Labriola entered the southbound lanes of the TSP at Pudding Street around 2:15 p.m. heading northbound reportedly forcing several oncoming vehicles off the highway and side-swiping a sports-utility vehicle.
Kopy said the wrong way vehicle drove north for three miles against the flow of traffic before crashing into the guiderail in Kent Cliffs.
Troopers arrested Labriola for driving the wrong way on a controlled access highway. A report was also forwarded to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles whose inspectors will determine if administration action will be taken resulting in the revocation of Labriola’s driving privileges.
Southbound traffic along the TSP in western Putnam was snarled for over an hour following the incident since State Police were forced to close the road to investigate while tow trucks removed damaged vehicles.