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Thanks to Citizens Calling 911, Troopers Locate Wrong Way Driver on Route 8 in Torrington

On Friday, 05/19/2023, at approximately 1:29 a.m., Troop L in Litchfield and Litchfield County Dispatch in Torrington began receiving 9-1-1 calls reporting a vehicle traveling southbound on Route 8 northbound in the area of Exit 43 in Torrington. One of the callers advised dispatchers that they had observed the wrong-way vehicle turn around and reported that the vehicle had begun traveling in the correct direction on Route 8 northbound at Exit #44 in Torrington. The caller provided a description of the wrong-way vehicle and later explained to troopers that it had exited Route 8 northbound at Exit #44, East Main Street, before entering Route 8 southbound and traveling in an erratic manner, swerving across the travel lanes. Responding troopers located a vehicle matching the description provided by the caller on Route 8 southbound in the area of Exit 41 and initiated a motor vehicle stop.

During interactions with troopers, the vehicle operator, later identified as Michael Wiggins, DOB 06/29/1955, of Waterbury, exhibited signs of possible impairment and agreed to participate in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, which were not performed to standard.

As a result of the on-scene investigation, Wiggins was taken into custody and transported to Troop L in Litchfield where he was processed and charged with the following:

C.G.S. 14-227a, Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs

C.G.S. 14-236, Failure to Drive in Proper Lane

C.G.S. 14-237, Driving the Wrong-Way on a Divided Highway

Wiggins was later released on a $1,000.00 non-surety bond and is scheduled for arraignment on 06/02/2023, at Torrington Superior Court.

We thank the members of the public who did not hesitate to call 9-1-1 to report this incident. As always, we ask that anyone who observes a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction please keep a safe distance away and call 9-1-1 as soon as possible, as this is a true emergency.

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