A Portland woman was charged with operating under the influence after driving the wrong way on Interstate 295 late Monday night in the second wrong-way driving incident in Maine in less than a week.

Ellen Honan, 67, of Portland, was operating a 2018 Nissan Rogue in a northerly direction in the southbound lane of Interstate 295 in Falmouth on Monday when a state trooper was forced to use a tactical maneuver to move her vehicle out of the path of oncoming traffic, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said.

The Augusta Regional Communications Center began receiving calls about a wrong-way driver around 11:22 p.m. Monday. A state trooper who was traveling southbound noticed headlights coming toward him in the passing lane. The trooper pulled into the breakdown lane to avoid getting hit. He immediately turned his cruiser around, activated his emergency lights and siren, and pursued the wrong-way vehicle.

When Honan refused to pull over and the trooper could see oncoming southbound traffic, he successfully initiated a precision immobilization technique, or PIT, maneuver that forced Honan’s vehicle it into the center median. A PIT involves a pursuing vehicle, in this case a state police cruiser, applying lateral pressure to the rear quarter panel of a fleeing vehicle causing it to turn sideways abruptly.

Honan was charged with operating under the influence, failure to stop for a police officer, and operating the wrong way on a divided highway.

The Maine State Police were assisted on the scene by the Yarmouth Police Department, Yarmouth Fire Department and the Maine Department of Transportation. No injuries were reported.

On Nov. 29, a wrong-way driver traveling on the Maine Turnpike in Portland crashed into another vehicle resulting in the deaths of three people.

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