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Police: Driver Charged With DUI After Speeding Wrong-Way on Rte. 22

Early morning reckless driving tragedy averted, police say.

Police say an impaired driver driving the wrong way on 22 in early morning an incident was apprehended without injuries or damage. 

At 1:22 a.m on Thursday, Oct. 25, as Springfield Police Officer Jose Agrelo was waiting on Hillside Avenue to pull onto the westbound lanes of Route 22, he reportedly saw a four-door sedan driving east on Route 22 west.

Agrelo put on his emergency lights and siren but police say the vehicle continued past his location without slowing or stopping. Officer Agrelo hopped on Route 22 East  ahead of the vehicles' path. After he pulled into a center isle parking lot, he was able to pull onto the highway and force the vehicle to stop.

The driver and only lone occupant of the vehicle, Matias Braulio, 44, of Roselle, claimed he had just left a restaurant on Route 22 West in Mountainside and was lost. Police later charged him operating a motor vehicle whle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and with driving the wrong way on a one way street as well as reckless driving.

"Officer Agrelo was at the right place at the right time and along with his quick actions in safely stopping a motor vehicle traveling against oncoming traffic prevented the potential of a serious head-on collision from occurring," Springfield  Chief of Police John Cook said in an email.

Braulio was later released from custody with an initial court appearance
date set for Monday, Oct. 29 at 5p.m. in the Springfield Municipal Court.

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