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Video of wrong-way driver released by TPD

Posted at 11:10 AM, Mar 21, 2016

 

 

 

 

Video showing a Tampa police officer taking evasive action to avoid a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver on Interstate 275 at Fowler Avenue early Sunday has been released.

Shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, Tampa police officer S. Van Treese, who is a member of the police department's DUI unit, was traveling northbound on I-275 on his way home at the end of his shift.

As he approached Fowler Avenue, the officer spotted a southbound vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, heading directly toward his cruiser, a Tampa Police Department news release states.

Van Treese took evasive action narrowly missing colliding with the vehicle driven by the wrong-way driver.

A second Tampa police officer, Gregory Murphy, saw the wrong-way vehicle, a 2010 gray Honda, exit the interstate in the wrong direction at Busch Boulevard. Murphy pursued the vehicle and made a traffic stop.

Murphy saw signs the driver may have been impaired, the release states. A DUI unit was called to the scene to conduct a field sobriety test.

The driver, identified as Aja Cancela, 34, of Riverview, was arrested and taken to central breath testing at the Hillsborough County Jail . She faces a charge of driving under the influence.

No injuries were reported.

TPD says the officer involved will not be made available for comment.

ABC Action News tried speaking to Cancela at her Riverview home but no one answered.

ABC Action News also reached out to Cancela's attorney, Dirk Weed, but did not immediately hear back.

According to an arrest report, Cancela had a BAC of .063, which is under the legal limit.  However, under Florida law, you can still be charged with DUI if you exhibit signs of impairment.