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Wrong-way driver in Racine County arrested for OWI, drug possession

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A driver from Milwaukee was arrested for driving under the influence and drug possession after Racine County deputies say he was going the wrong way in a construction zone. 

Investigators say a white Jeep was reported going southbound in the northbound lanes of I-94 at STH 20/Washington Avenue in the Village of Yorkville.

When deputies arrived, they found several of the orange construction barrels being used to divert traffic off the interstate at the northbound STH 20 off-ramp hit and damaged. The Jeep was parked in the right lane of traffic with damage to it. 

When deputies spoke with the 48-year-old driver, he said he was trying to get to his girlfriend's house but got turned around on the interstate and couldn't figure out how to get off the interstate once he saw it was closed. The deputies say they also learned from the driver that he had used cocaine before driving. The deputies reported they found cocaine and marijuana on his person and in his vehicle. 

Witnesses told investigators the Jeep entered the interstate by jumping a median curb and going around road closed barries on STH 20, a construction worker that was working near the barries, and a dump truck that was going up the STH 20 on-ramp. The Jeep went north on the interstate until it came upon a construction crew working by the CTH C/Spring Street overpass. The Jeep turned around and went southbound in the northbound lanes, driving through another construction crew that was laying asphalt primer on the STH 20 bridge. The Jeep continued going the wrong way, crashing through the barricades that were showing the freeway was closed at the STH 20 northbound off-ramp. The Jeep continued southbound until it crashed through the orange construction barrels marking where cars need to go to get off the interstate at the STH 20 off-ramp. 

The Jeep made another U-turn going northbound and was stopped in front of the road closed barricades that it had previously driven through.

Investigators say the driver created a dangerous situation as the northbound traffic was not able to see the pattern they were supposed to follow to get off the interstate, causing several vehicles to nearly hit the initial squad dealing with the Jeep and its driver. 

The driver was taken to the Racine County Jail for his first OWI offense, marijuana and cocaine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of recklessly endangering safety. A cash bond of $37,950 was set. 

The driver was also cited for several traffic violations. 

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