Impaired driver nearly hits semi, takes out stoplight, drives wrong way on Beltline

Impaired driver nearly hits semi, takes out stoplight, drives wrong way on Beltline
Ariel Camilo/freeimages.com

Several drivers, including a semitrailer driver, called 911 early Tuesday morning after taking evasive action to avoid head-on collisions with a wrong-way driver on the West Beltline highway, according to officials.

Thomas E. Zionkowski, 27, was cited around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday for operating while intoxicated, driving wrong way on a divided highway and hit-and-run property adjacent to highway, according to the report.

The semi driver said he came to a complete stop after pulling over as far as he could on the bridge over Mineral Point Road. He added that he was blinded by the headlights as Zionkowski came at him fast, heading east in the westbound lanes and nearly hitting his trailer, according to an incident report from the Madison Police Department.

Another driver told police he fishtailed after heading for the shoulder at 40 to 50 miles per hour to avoid a crash, officials said.

A third driver, who was on Verona Road, said he watched as the impaired driver’s car went down the on-ramp at a high speed to the West Beltline. This witness also said the driver took out a stoplight on Verona Road before hopping his car over curbs and causing sparks. He saw the driver pull behind a nearby business, according to officials.

Officers who had been dispatched from the South District to try to intercept the car ended up finding it damaged in a parking lot near where the witness saw it, officials said.

Comments

comments