Montgomery wrong-way driver faces DWI rap; Cops start holiday crackdown

A Pennsylvania man, who police allege had a blood-alcohol level that was nearly triple the legal limit, was charged with driving while intoxicated Sunday after he traveled the wrong way on Interstate 84 in Montgomery, causing a five-car collision, authorities said.

Only one driver in the crash suffered minor injuries. Otherwise, no one else was harmed in the incident, police said Monday.

Police charged James Onyango, 50, of Bushkill, Pa., with aggravated DWI misdemeanor, second-degree reckless endangerment and other violations. He's slated to appear in Montgomery Town Court on Jan. 3.


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Onyango allegedly was driving east on the westbound lane of the highway about 5 p.m. when one car swerved to avoid his Toyota Corolla, striking the highway's guardrail, police said. That car was wrecked.

Onyango then continued for another quarter mile until he struck a delivery van head-on, according to police. Another car struck the back of the van and another rear-ended them, adding to the pileup.

The van driver was the one who sustained minor injuries, police said.

After the collision, police determined that Onyango had a blood-alcohol level of 0.21 percent. In New York State, the limit for being considered legally intoxicated is 0.08 percent.

Onyango told police he was headed back to Pennsylvania from Poughkeepsie.

Authorities believe the arrest of Onyango and two others on charges of drunken driving Sunday likely will be only the first wave of DWI incidents this holiday season.

"People tend to celebrate during the holidays, and they don't think," Capt. Michael Jankowiak of State Police Troop K in Poughkeepsie said Monday.

Jankowiak said he expected more arrests as the holidays neared. To help discourage drinking and driving during the season, he said, State Police were planning to deploy extra troopers to specific stretches of roads and set up sobriety checkpoints, among other measures.

State Police on Sunday also arrested Brian Angelie, 36, of Mount Kisco, as he was allegedly driving drunk on Crompound Road in Yorktown, a police statement said.

Angelie was driving around 2:50 a.m. when a trooper pulled him over for crossing the median line of the road. He was determined to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent.

Because he had a 4-year-old child as a passenger, Angelie was charged with a felony of driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law. He is scheduled to appear in Yorktown Town Court on Dec. 20.

Separately, at 1:50 a.m. Sunday, State Police arrested Joseph Florio, 56, and charged him with driving unsafely in Somers on Route 118.

Florio, a Yorktown Heights resident, refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test, but he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. He's now scheduled to appear in Somers Town Court on Jan. 7.

The three drivers arrested could not be reached for comment Monday.

 

News12 contributed to this story.

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