Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Fri, Feb. 21

Officers went above and beyond to stop wrong-way driver

Few people likely are more thankful than three tractor trailor and 13 passenger car drivers after the drama that played out on Interstate 17 between Black Canyon City and Cordes Junction on Saturday morning.

At about 1 a.m., someone reported a driver heading the wrong way northbound in the southbound lanes of I-17 near Black Canyon City.

Can you imagine what went through the minds of Sheriff's deputies and DPS officers, two of whom immediately headed south to try and stop the driver? I-17 is narrow and very dark at night, and near Black Canyon City, mountainous and curved.

The officers tried with lights, sirens and spotlights to stop the wrong-way driver, an Anthem resident who apparently had too much to drink before taking to the road. They were not successful, and the next two semis and three passenger cars headed south no doubt got quite the shock as they fortunately avoided the BMW.

Alarmed officers desperately trying to save some lives - or at best, prevent serious injuries - raced to an area north of where the driver was headed and put out stop sticks to deflate his tires and end his trip in the wrong lane.

Meanwhile, other officers stopped another tractor trailer rig and 10 more cars in the path of the driver, and got them off the road.

Fortunately, the stop sticks worked and the driver, 44-year-old Rogelio Guzman, ran out of options when he couldn't continue on four deflated tires.

Guzman went to jail on eight felony counts of endangerment and DUI charges. He is now free on $4,000 bond.

I can tell you those drivers in his path were no doubt appreciative of the officers who stopped Guzman Saturday morning.

Their quick coordination and actions likely prevented serious injury, if not death, for who knows how many drivers.

Outstanding work from our law enforcement personnel in a tough situation.

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