Driving Instructor Was Drunk Behind Wheel Before Crash 

A boozed-up driving instructor from Long Island was so reckless behind that wheel that his students got out of the car and hid in a McDonald’s before he rear-ended another driver and got arrested, police said.

“I’m happy to be alive,” one of the students, 16-year-old Matt McGeough told Newsday.

Suffolk Auto Driving School instructor Russell Cohen, 58, was driving McGeough and three other teens in Centereach on Saturday morning when the pupils suspected he was drunk, cops said.

Cohen made inappropriate comments to two of the teenage girls in the car and hit a curb during the lesson, the teens told Newsday.

They convinced him to pull into a McDonald’s on Middle Country Road and called 911 at about 11 a.m., authorities said.

“We jumped out as soon as possible,” student Lila Mabanta, told the Long Island newspaper.

Cohen realized the students weren’t coming out of the McDonald’s and drove away from the restaurant, police said.

He rear-ended a 29-year-old Honda driver about 45 minutes later on Montauk Trail in Ridge, cops said. The Honda driver was taken to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Cohen was arrested on aggravated DWI and endangering the welfare of a child charges, police said.

Source: NY Post; Driving instructor was drunk behind wheel before crash by: Ben Feuerherd

Man accused of chugging beer during DUI stop

BIG COPPITT KEY, Fla. — Authorities say a 48-year-old Florida man raised a can of beer and chugged it after a sheriff’s deputy stopped him on suspicion of drunk driving.

Daryl Royal Riedel told Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators he was scared when he fled in his pickup truck as Deputy Anthony Lopez stepped out of his patrol car Thursday. Riedel drove for a short distance before stopping.

Riedel has three prior DUI convictions between 2003 and 2010 and a fourth is pending from 2017.

The report says Riedel got out of his truck, beer can in his hand and chugged it.

Riedel faces numerous charges, including felony DUI, fleeing from a deputy, driving with a suspended license and failure to submit a breath test.

He’s in jail without bond. Records don’t list a lawyer.

Credit: NY Post

Man charged with DUI after crashing into fire truck

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Authorities say a Florida man was arrested after crashing into a fire truck.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that 44-year-old Thomas McCrimmon III was arrested Saturday night and charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash.

The Florida Highway Patrol says a Pasco Fire Rescue vehicle was parked along Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel to assist with a single-vehicle crash. Troopers say McCrimmon drunkenly crashed into the fire truck and then drove away.

 

NY POST

Mom runs over, kills toddler daughter at birthday party

A birthday celebration in Maine turned tragic Saturday when a toddler was run over and killed by an SUV driven by her mother — who allegedly drove drunk as recently as last month, police said.

Investigators believe the mother, Taneisha Thomas, backed over the 17-month-old girl, Tiannah Sevey, when she was moving her 2004 Mercury Mountaineer outside a party to celebrate her big sister’s 10th birthday at the Pleasant View Acres housing complex in Lewiston, the Portland Press Herald reports.

The girl was rushed to a local hospital, but could not be saved.

No charges had been filed against Thomas in connection with the fatal accident as of Monday, Lewiston police Lt. David St. Pierre confirmed to The Post. Investigators were continuing to reconstruct the crash scene and are still interviewing witnesses. Thomas, meanwhile, has been cooperative with investigators, St. Pierre said.

A blood test to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol was administered to Thomas after the crash, which is standard procedure in fatal crashes. Those results could take up to several weeks, St. Pierre said.

Thomas, who was driving with a conditional license Saturday, was convicted of operating under the influence in 2013, according to records cited by the Press Herald. She was also arrested in nearby Auburn on Aug. 13 and later charged with operating under the influence with a prior OUI conviction and operating with a license, the Sun Journal reports.

Thomas’ license was suspended after last month’s arrest, according to state records cited by the newspaper. The suspension was stayed on Sept. 11 and Thomas is due to appear for a hearing Thursday on the matter. In 2013, Thomas was convicted of OUI after she hit a parked car outside her home in Lewiston. Her blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.27 percent and no injuries were reported.

Relatives and neighbors, meanwhile, set up a memorial outside the apartment complex Sunday to remember the girl, the Sun Journal reported.

“R.I.P. T.T.,” a sign taped to a pole read. “An angel is never forgotten.”

CREDIT: NY Post

School bus driver accused of driving drunk with 31 students on board

A Georgia school bus driver was arrested after she allegedly drove a bus full of students while under the influence of alcohol.

Carole Ann Etheridge, a 49-year-old Walton County school bus driver, was arrested mid-route on Monday after students on the bus texted their parents to tell them they noticed something was off about the driver and the way she was driving, WXIA reported.

Etheridge was arrested at Loganville Middle School where she tested positive for DUI. Another bus driver was called in to complete her route, according to the news outlet.

There were 31 students on board the bus, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said Wednesday that deputies found a large bottle of tequila, small bottles of vodka and prescription pills in Etheridge’s purse.

Melanie Walker, a mother whose children were on the bus with Etheridge,posted on Facebook that she called the school twice earlier this year to complain about Etheridge’s driving, which she called “erratic.”

However, a spokesperson from the school district told WXIA she was not aware of any complaints filed against Etheridge, adding the driver has been with the district since March after she passed a background check.

School officials said that Etheridge is no longer employed with the school district.

Etheridge faces 16 counts of child endangerment charges, as well as DUI. Jail officials reportedly said the driver’s charges were written as traffic citations and no warrants were issued. She’s currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond.

Credit: Fox News