A two-car accident at Smith Ridge and Michigan roads that sent one of the drivers to the hospital, has resulted in a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs on the other.
James J. Roche, 48, of 1 Buck Road, South Salem, N.Y., was arrested following the 12:42 p.m. accident on Monday, April 29.
Roche rear-ended the SUV of a 50-year-old woman stopped in the northbound lane of Smith Ridge Road, waiting to make a left turn across traffic onto Michigan Road, according to police.
The back of the woman's Mercedes SUV was crumpled and badly damaged. On the other side of Smith Ridge Road rested Roche's black Hyundai SUV with severe damage to the front of the vehicle; its hood was crumpled and raised, the left side was completely torn apart with the motor exposed, the front wheel visible from the front of the car, and the headlight visible in pieces on the street.
The woman was lying the grass next to her Mercedes and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Police said the woman complained of chest and abdominal pain, but did not show external injuries.
A contractor working on a nearby house who was facing the road at the time of the accident, said at the scene, "It was a horrific impact." He said the collision was obscured from his view, but he recalled the Mercedes SUV had been stopped on the northbound side of Smith Ridge Road, waiting to turn left onto Michigan Road when the Hyundai SUV barreled into the back of the car at high speed.
"She had pulled up slow, coming up 123 (Smith Ridge Road) to turn onto Michigan Road. He hit the back of her car, I think he almost didn't even step on his brakes."
When officers arrived at the scene, according to the report, they detected the smell of alcohol on Roche's breath. He was administered field sobriety tests, which he failed, said police. Police also said they found empty bottles of alcohol in the man's vehicle.
Roche posted $250 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, May 9.
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