Flagstaff, AZ – A defense attorney representing an allegedly drunk wrong-way driver, who crashed into an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) sergeant, has claimed that the sergeant was actually to blame for the collision (video below).
The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 17, after New Mexico resident Patricia Carvalho drove up onto a sidewalk on Milton Road, nearly hitting several vehicles, KSAZ reported.
According to police, Carvalho, 32, also had her two-year-old daughter in the backseat of the car at the time.
When a DPS trooper tried to stop her, Carvalho took off in the wrong direction, and began heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40.
DPS Sergeant Paul Damgaard responded to the call, and spotted the suspect vehicle flying towards him and other oncoming vehicles.
The sergeant then used his patrol SUV as a traffic break, and weaved across the lanes several times as Carvalho’s car barreled towards him, another motorist’s dashcam showed.
The patrol vehicle slowed to a stop, but Carvalho served at the last second, slamming into Sgt. Damgaard head-on.
“The video taken by another motorist, whose life may have been saved by the actions of this heroic sergeant, tells the true story of what happened," DPS Director Frank Milstead told KSAZ.
"Sadly, it’s a stark reminder of the risks that impaired drivers pose to the public and to our troopers, who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to stop them,” Director Milstead added.
Sgt. Damgaard and Carvalho both suffered minor injuries during the collision, and the allegedly drunken woman’s young daughter was unhurt.
Carvalho was subsequently booked on charges of aggravated assault, attempted second-degree homicide, aggravated DUI, endangerment, and child abuse.
Her daughter was placed into the custody of the Arizona Department of Child Services.
According to KSAZ, Carvalho’s lawyer has alleged that Sgt. Damgaard is the one responsible for the crash and said he unnecessarily placed Carvalho’s daughter at risk of harm.
You can watch dashcam footage of the collision in the video below: