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Drunk driver from Michigan had a wild Victoria Day, OPP say

Police say 42-year-old fled from paramedics, drove through a traffic stop and intentionally swerved into a cop cruiser before being arrested at a Sault Ste. Marie gas station
A 42-year-old Michigan man was arrested at a Sault Ste. Marie gas station on May 20, 2024 and charged with multiple offences.

A 42-year-old Michigan man is facing multiple charges after a wild Victoria Day on the Canadian side of the border. 

It all began around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, when paramedics phoned the Sault Ste. Marie OPP to request assistance with “a highly intoxicated person who needed to be transported” from Goulais Township to Sault Area Hospital.

Shortly after the call, police say the intoxicated man climbed into a pickup truck and drove away down Harmony Beach Road.

OPP say they spotted the truck a short time later in Aweres Township, travelling south toward the Sault — but when officers attempted a traffic stop, the pickup just kept on going.

“Police observed the pickup truck intentionally swerve towards an oncoming marked police cruiser with its emergency lights activated which was parked on the far east side of the highway and was waiting to assist,” says a news release from the OPP, issued today.

When the vehicle later pulled into a gas station, it was quickly surrounded by police vehicles (as seen in the above photo).

Police say the driver was transported to hospital for assessment. When he was released the next morning at 3 a.m., he was taken to the Sault OPP detachment and arrested.

Lionel Cartwright, 42, of Norway, Michigan is charged with: 

  • Dangerous operation
  • Failure or refusal to comply with demand
  • Flight from peace officer
  • Operation while impaired-alcohol and drugs

The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Sault Ste. Marie on June 24.

The pickup truck was towed and impounded for seven days and the driver was issued a 90-day Administrative Drivers Licence Suspension.

None of the allegations have been tested in court and Cartwright is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.