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Wrong-Way Driver Arrested on Veterans Expressway

Oct 1, 2014

An Oldsmar woman was arrested early Wednesday morning after she drove the wrong way on the Veterans Expressway near Gunn Highway in Tampa, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

During a taping for an upcoming Florida Matters on an apparent outbreak of wrong-way crashes in the Tampa Bay area, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said this latest arrest happened at about 1:30 a.m.

“She was coming from a bar down on MacDill Avenue in Tampa. Had left a bar, was traveling to her home, got completely turned around,” Gaskins said. “Obviously, traveled several miles the wrong way on the Veterans Expressway and missed her exit and was coming from a bar, and she told us she was extremely intoxicated.”

Maria Bolivar, 31, was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail, where she refused to provide a breath test to measure her blood alcohol content, FHP said.

There were no injuries in this incident.

Matt Nasworthy with AAA said you should call 911 if you are driving and see a wrong-way driver coming at you.

"You want to get as far out of the way of those folks as possible because most of the time, as we've discussed, they're not thinking in the right mind,” he said. “Obviously, headlights coming at them haven't deterred them until this point. So pull off the right, get as far out of the way as you can."

Since February, there have been five wrong-way crashes that have caused 11 deaths on highways in the Tampa area.

We will take an in-depth look at why these crashes keep happening on Florida Matters on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.