Wrong-way driver, 82, faces DUI charge
An 82-year-old New York man who is accused of traveling the wrong way on Culpeper’s busiest highway has been charged with drunken driving.
According to Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Ana Ortiz, calls began coming in shortly before 4 p.m. Monday reporting a black Dodge Ram truck heading north in the southbound lanes of U.S. 29.
Minutes later, the 911 Center received reports of an accident that had occurred near U.S. 29’s intersection with Mountain Run Lake Road.
Apparently, the car had struck the ditch and spun around, deflating the front passenger side tire, Ortiz said.
Undaunted, the motorist kept going, this time on the correct side of the road.
“The front passenger rim caused sparks to ignite when it was traveling on the asphalt,” Ortiz said. “The sparks caused two brush fires in the median of Route 29.”
One fire was under the Madison Road overpass while the second was just north of the State Route 3 exit, Ortiz said.
Sparks and flames flying, the car traveled on its rim about five miles, all the way to the Green’s Corner Road intersection, where he was stopped by Deputy Larry Myers.
In addition to DUI, 82-year-old William Murphy of Niverville, N.Y., was also charged with failing to report an accident.
The Culpeper Volunteer Fire Department was called to put out the two fires.