News Alert : Nelson – Colleen : VSP Arrests Amherst Woman After Wrong Way Crash in Nelson County


Nelson County, Virginia

We first told you about this story early Wednesday here.

Here’s the VSP press release verbatim:

“Virginia State Police Trooper T.A. Hackenbracht is investigating an incident involving a wrong-way driver who ended up crashing into the trooper’s patrol car Tuesday night (May 2) in Nelson County.

The incident began at approximately 9:58 p.m., Tuesday, when Amherst County and Virginia State Police began receiving calls concerning a wrong-way driver on Route 29. A 2013 Mercedes Benz was traveling north in the southbound lanes of Route 29 in Amherst County. The vehicle continued the wrong-way into Nelson County and just missed hitting Trooper Hackenbracht’s vehicle as he was responding to the call. The trooper was traveling south in the southbound lanes of Route 29 and, despite his vehicle’s lights and sirens being activated, the Mercedes vehicle narrowly missed his patrol car. The same occurred to a Nelson County Sheriff’s Deputy who was also responding to the wrong-way driver call, as the Mercedes narrowly missed the deputy’s patrol car on Route 29.

After passing the wrong-way vehicle, Trooper Hackenbracht took the next cross over on Route 29 and headed north on Route 29 to the intersection with Route 56. The trooper purposely pulled his vehicle perpendicular to the wrong-way driver’s lane in order to stop the vehicle. The state police vehicle’s lights and sirens were activated as it pulled across the travel lane. At approximately 20 mph, the suspect vehicle rammed the front of the trooper’s vehicle. The vehicle then accelerated and tried to keep going, but Trooper Hakenbracht was able to reach into the Mercedes from the passenger’s side and get the gear out of drive. The suspect vehicle rolled backwards and struck a highway sign.

The driver of the Mercedes, Mary C. Tenhoopen-Jones, 75, of Amherst, Va., was taken into custody without further incident. The trooper charged her with DUI 1st offense, refusal to a take a DUI breath test, reckless driving, eluding police, driving the wrong way, and for failing to update her information. She has since been released from Albemarle County Jail.

Neither Trooper Hackenbracht nor Tenhoopen-Jones was injured in the crash.

The incident remains under investigation.

Corinne N. Geller
Public Relations Director
Virginia State Police”


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