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Woman charged with DWI in police-car crash

An unoccupied police cruiser parked in the right

An unoccupied police cruiser parked in the right lane of the Sunrise Highway in East Patchogue was hit and badly damaged Thursday night by a woman who faces DWI charges, police said. (June 7, 2012) Credit: David Rubin

A woman was arrested Thursday night and charged with driving while intoxicated after the minivan she was driving rear-ended an unoccupied Suffolk County police car that had been parked, as a protective measure for highway workers, in a westbound travel lane of Sunrise Highway in East Patchogue, police said.

Dawn Heller, 46, of West Islip, was held overnight at the Fifth Precinct for arraignment in First District Court, Central Islip. Her arraignment information was not immediately available.

Only a few details of the 10:20 p.m. accident were available Friday morning, and there were no reports of injuries, a Suffolk police spokeswoman said.

The Highway Patrol Safe-T Section cruiser had been parked in the right lane of the Sunrise Highway near Hospital Road. The lane had been closed as a buffer zone, to control traffic and protect highway workers.

As Heller's minivan approached the parked police car, she swerved to a left lane but was unable to do so in time and her minivan collided with the rear end of cruiser and badly damaged it, police said.

With Bill Mason

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