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Tue, Feb. 18

Deputies stop wrong-way driver on I-17; likely avert tragedy



Two deputies likely averted tragedy on Interstate 17 Saturday when they were able to stop a wrong-way driver in the darkness north of Black Canyon City.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received the report at 1 a.m. of a BMW sedan traveling north in the southbound lanes near Black Canyon City. A DPS officer and a YCSO deputy drove south from Cordes Junction to try to intercept the driver. They saw him within minutes, according to a Monday YCSO news release.

The report stated the driver passed the DPS officer who was driving with lights and sirens, ignoring the officer and continuing north. The driver then approached the YCSO vehicle head-on, still not stopping for emergency lights and a spotlight the deputy was using to try and stop him. The report stated that the driver nearly hit the deputy's car and continued to head north.

Two tractor trailer rig and three passenger car drivers were able to avoid the wrong-way driver, while assisting deputies quickly responded to a point north of the driver's location and began stopping southbound traffic to avoid a head-on collision. Deputies deployed "stop sticks" ahead of the vehicle's lane of travel south of Cordes Junction, the report stated. When the driver approached, the stop sticks deflated all four tires, and he slowed and stopped.

The report stated that when deputies approached the car, they found the driver, 44-year-old Rogelio Guzman of Anthem, had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and person. Deputies also found a receipt in his pocket dated March 2 that showed purchases of alcohol from a Phoenix area restaurant.

While waiting for the BMW to approach the stop sticks, deputies had diverted another tractor trailer rig and 10 passenger cars to prevent them from traveling into the vehicle's path.

Deputies arrested Guzman and booked him into the Camp Verde Detention Center on eight counts of felony endangerment and DUI. He has since been released on $4,000 bond, the report stated.

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