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Courts / Law

Two More Wrong-Way Drivers Arrested

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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Two drivers accused of driving drunk were arrested over the weekend in Hillsborough County after nearly causing head-on collisions with law enforcement officers.

In the first incident around 4 a.m. Saturday, University of South Florida Police Officer Scott Parker avoided a collision on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard at Orient Road.

A report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says a gold Chevy pickup truck turned eastbound from Orient Rd. into the westbound lanes of Dr. King Blvd. Deputies say Gener Espino, 47, Seffner, drove straight at Parker and nearly hit him.

In Parker's attempt to stop him, Espino allegedly drove over the paved median into eastbound lanes before stopping.

A Hillsborough County deputy conducted a field sobriety test on Espino and arrested him. His blood alcohol level was .139 when it was taken at the nearby Orient Road Jail. The legal limit is .08.

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Late Saturday night, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Leon Paige arrested a habitual traffic offender after avoiding a head-on collision.

An HCSO report says Cornelius Watson, 34,  Tampa, was driving his 2005 Hyundai Sonata eastbound on 142nd Avenue in the westbound lanes just before midnight. Paige had to drive his unmarked patrol vehicle off the road to avoid Watson. Deputies who stopped Watson determined he was impaired.

Watson refused to take a field sobriety test. He was charged with driving while impaired and felony driving while having a suspended license.

The Tampa Bay area has seen a number of wrong-way collisions and near misses since four USF students were killed in such an accident on I-275 a year ago.