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Drivers Recall Near-Miss With Wrong-Way Driver

Locals explain how they reacted when faced with deadly scenario.

Following two devastating wrong-way driver crashes this week, locals who narrowly escaped disaster but managed to avoid a crash said the experience was something that they would never forget. 

Five people were taken to hospital after a man, who has since been charged with DWI, crashed into a tree removal truck in Hampton Bays on Friday night. Then, on New Year's Eve, a second head-on incident sent a family of three to the hospital. The wrong-way driver, an East Hampton man, died.

In a comment on Patch, said she was driving with her 10-year-old son Friday night on Sunrise Highway westbound at exit 61 when she spotted cars swerving in front of her. She soon realized a car was coming right at her.

"I could not believe this was actually happening and literally cut the wheel to avoid him hitting us head on and thankfully there was no one on the side of me."

Copenhaver wrote that she called 911 while trying to calm both herself and her son down.

"I have to say that I came home and hugged my family and definitely feel that someone was watching over us. I drive this way home every day from work and now am looking at this road in a different light."

Another driver that night, , said he did not need to swerve but it seemed like the car came at him at more than 100 miles per hour near exit 59.

If faced with a wrong-way driver, an online traffic school, WebTrafficSchool.com, recommends slowing down as much as possible without slamming on your brakes. Slowing the car, the site states, will lessen the impact.

The site also recommends honking your horn and flashing your headlights to alert a possible sleeping driver. The site also suggests steering right of the oncoming car, never to the left. And finally, if a collision is inevitable, the site says to try to sideswipe the on-going car to reduce the force of impact. 

What would you do if faced with a wrong-way driver? Feel free to respond to the poll or comment below.

Melina Hale January 04, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Slam on BRAKES not breaks.
Erica Jackson (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Thank you Melina.
claudia January 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I appreciated the tips on what to do if you encounter a wrong-way driver!!

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