Police: 75-year-old woman charged with DUI after hitting a trooper's patrol car


NELSON Co., Va. (WSET) - State Police say a woman has been charged with DUI after she rammed her vehicle into a trooper’s patrol car.

Police say the call came in just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night for a woman driving the wrong way on Route 29.

Police say a 2013 Mercedes Benz was traveling north in the southbound lanes of Route 29 in Amherst County.

The driver of the Mercedes was identified as Mary C. Tenhoopen-Jones, 75, of Amherst.

Police say Tenhoopen-Jone continued driving the wrong-way into Nelson County and just missed hitting a state trooper's vehicle as he was responding to the call.

The trooper was traveling south in the southbound lanes of Route 29 and, despite his vehicle’s lights and sirens being activated, the Mercedes vehicle narrowly missed his patrol car. The same happened to a Nelson County Sheriff’s Deputy who was also responding to the wrong-way driver call, as the Mercedes narrowly missed the deputy’s patrol car on Route 29.

After passing the wrong-way vehicle, the trooper took the next cross over on Route 29 and headed north on Route 29 to the intersection with Route 56.

The trooper purposely pulled his patrol car perpendicular to the wrong-way driver’s lane in order to stop the vehicle.

The trooper had his patrol lights and sirens activated as it pulled across the travel lane.

At approximately 20 mph, police say Tenhoopen-Jones rammed her vehicle into the front of the trooper’s vehicle. The vehicle then accelerated and tried to keep going, but the trooper was able to reach into the Mercedes from the passenger’s side and get the vehicle out of drive.

Tenhoopen-Jones' vehicle then rolled backwards and struck a highway sign, police say.

She was taken into custody without further incident.

The trooper charged her with DUI 1st offense, refusal to a take a DUI breath test, reckless driving, eluding police, driving the wrong way, and for failing to update her information.

She has since been released from Albemarle County Jail.

Police say no one was injured in the crash. The incident remains under investigation.

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