Trooper prevents crash in St. Charles Co. by stopping wrong-way -

Trooper prevents crash in St. Charles Co. by stopping wrong-way driver

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Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Lukowski (Credit: KMOV) Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Lukowski (Credit: KMOV)

A Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper is being credited for preventing what could have been a tragedy on a major route in and out of St. Charles County.

On Monday morning, just before 5 a.m., Trooper Jason Lukowski was able to stop the wrong-way driver on MO 364 before anyone was hurt.

Lukowski said he was driving westbound on MO 364 when the driver passed him, going the wrong way.

“I just knew we had to get him stopped before he hurt himself or anyone else,” said Lukowski. “We have a pursuit policy where we are not allowed to chase cars going the wrong way down a road so I activated my lights, went down to the next exit, turned around, and then tried to catch back up with him. I was going eastbound in the eastbound lanes at that point in time.”

By the time he got the driver to stop, the wrong-way driver had traveled across the bridge and miles down MO 364 into St. Louis County.

“He told me he was following his GPS on his phone and he had been lost for about 20 minutes and was just trying to get home,” said Lukowski.

The driver was arrested for drunken driving and issued multiple citations.

Disturbingly, Lukowski said troopers like himself are seeing more wrong-way drivers. He said distractions and impaired driving are big factors.

News 4 reported on four serious wrong-way crashes within a five-week span earlier this year. They ranged from Chesterfield to just outside of downtown St. Louis and Granite City.

Troopers said if drivers spot someone heading the wrong way, do not try to chase or stop them. Instead, immediately call 911. They also advise getting over in the far right lanes.

“Your safest bet is probably going to be move to the right because generally when these people are traveling the wrong way down the road, they are towards their right so the farther you can stay away from the fast lane, the better you are,” said Lukowski.

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