Police: Drunk man destroys car as he swerves into Holland Tunnel construction lane

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An alleged drunk driver smashed into a speed restriction sign and traffic cones as he traveled through Manhattan into Jersey City via the Holland Tunnel, doing significant damage to his car, police said. 

Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.
Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Willie Adames, 26, of Brooklyn, NY, was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and driving uninsured early Thursday morning, according to Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo.

At 3:30 a.m. Thursday, near the Manhattan side entrance to the Holland Tunnel, a driver entered the westbound Holland Tunnel lane, which was closed for maintenance and had people working in the lane, officials said.

Maintenance workers radioed Port Authority police after witnessing a man driving a 2005 black Lincoln strike the temporary speed restriction sign – there was a 35 mile per hour speed restriction in place – toppling it and severely damaging his vehicle, authorities said.

An officer stationed himself at the intersection of Marin Boulevard and 14th Street in Jersey City awaited to apprehend the driver as he exited the tunnel, police said.

Adames’ vehicle emerged with a traffic cone lodged under the front bumper, grill and broken headlight dangling, cracked windshield, damaged front end and a flat rear tire, explained Pentangelo.

The officer signaled the Lincoln to pull over, and Adames continued to slowly drive forward, finally stopping on the west side of the Routes1 & 9 entrance ramp, authorities said.

Fluids were burning and leaking from the vehicle and the airbags were deployed. The driver was dazed and his eyes were watery and red, with the officer also noting there was a strong smell of alcohol from the driver and his vehicle, officials said.

The officer inquired why the suspect ignored his commands to pull over and Adames responded that he was going to stop at a gas station, police said, with the officer then pointing out that he had passed eight gas stations after he exited the tunnel.

Adames was placed under arrest after failing both field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer test and was brought to the Holland Tunnel Port Authority headquarters for processing, police said.

Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.
Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.