A Tarpon Springs officer prevented a wrong-way driver from crashing head-on into other vehicles early Sunday morning.
At 3:44 a.m., dispatchers received a 911 call that a car was traveling north in the southbound lanes of U.S. 19 near Klosterman Road.
Jessica Ramirez stated she observed the wrong-way vehicle, later identified as a 2013 silver Chevrolet Cobalt, approaching her in the left most lane of southbound U.S. 19. Ramirez told authorities she took evasive action, swerving her 2006 Toyota Camry to the right to avoid a head-on collision.
Despite Ramirez’s quick actions, the front driver's side of the Cobalt still struck the rear driver's side bumper of the Camry. After the crash, the Cobalt continued north on U.S. 19.
Ramirez says neither her nor her husband Miguel, the lone passenger inside the Camry, were injured in the crash. She says the damage to her car is minor.
"When I close my eyes, I see headlights still," said Ramirez.
A few minutes later Tarpon Springs Police Cpl. Clyde Thornton saw the Cobalt still heading the wrong-way on U.S. 19 at Tarpon Avenue.
"This definitely could have been far worse, if not for the quick actions of Cpl. Thornton," said Maj. Jeff Young with Tarpon Springs Police Department.
Cpl. Thornton turned around and tried to get the driver to pull over using his emergency lights. He reported the driver would not stop.
Concerned the wrong-way driver would crash head-on into a vehicle heading south on U.S. 19, Cpl. Thornton passed the Cobalt and used his police vehicle to force the Chevy to stop just north of Shell Pointe Road.
Police say the driver, 43-year-old Anna Marie Sosa of Clearwater, was the only person inside the Cobalt. She was arrested for DUI and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage.
"You almost took my life because you wanted to drive drunk," said Ramirez. "That's selfish. Selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish."
Sosa told officers that she had "only four drinks and two shots" before getting behind the wheel. She was convicted of DUI in 2012 in Kentucky. Police tell ABC Action News, when officers questioned Sosa, she thought she was in Clearwater.