A Queens man driving a box truck led police on a 30-minute, wrong-way chase on the Long Island Expressway Tuesday night that began at the Nassau-Suffolk border and ended near Exit 62 after police deployed spikes to blow out his tires, Suffolk County police said.
The driver, identified as Nicolas Lopez Gomez, 30, of Elmhurst, was charged with driving while intoxicated, third-degree fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle and reckless driving, Suffolk County police said.
No one was injured in the incident, first reported in a 911 call at 9:55 p.m., police said, when they responded to a report of the box truck "swerving across the roadway" as it traveled east in the westbound lanes of the LIE at Exit 48.
Suffolk Highway Patrol officers located Gomez's 2017 Hino box truck after it traveled in the wrong direction for four exits, then cut across the center median near Exit 52/Commack Road in Dix Hills before continuing east in the eastbound lanes.
Police units, with lights and sirens activated, continued the pursuit as the truck swerved "back and forth across all lanes of traffic," at one point going from the HOV lane to the right shoulder in a single move, police said.
Officers were finally able to stop Gomez after deploying stop sticks — spiked strips — across the roadway, which flattened his tires. The pursuit ended — and Gomez was arrested — near Exit 62/Nicolls Road on the Holbrook-Holtsville border at 10:20 p.m., police said.
The entire episode covered about 19.8 miles, according to MapQuest.
Gomez was held overnight at the Sixth Precinct. He pleaded not guilty to one count of DWI at his arraignment Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance, according to court records.
He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 11.
With John Asbury