SEYMOUR, Conn. (WTNH) – Connecticut State Police arrested a man for allegedly driving under the influence after they said he hit multiple cars while traveling the wrong way on Route 8 in Beacon Falls and Seymour Saturday night. A witness caught the incident on his dashcam and shared it exclusively with News 8.
Like any other day, Juan was heading home from work, driving north on Route 8 from Norwalk to Naugatuck.
“I’ve been driving on this road for seven years and I’ve never seen something like this,” Juan said.
He was traveling in the left lane and had just passed a fuel truck when he saw a car coming straight toward him.
“I said ‘Oh my god, this is not my day,'” Juan said.
Without a thought, Juan moved over, and called his wife, Tati.
Tati described what her husband told her on the phone.
“He said, ‘I saw death in front of me.’”
State police said around 6:20 p.m. they received multiple 911 calls about a vehicle traveling the wrong way near Exit 23 in Beacon Falls, before coming to a stop just north of Exit 22 in Seymour.
Investigators arrested the driver, 51-year-old Kevin Reilly after he failed a field sobriety test and left the scene of three separate crashes. In talking with Reilly, police said officers noticed his breath smelled of alcohol, he was slurring his speech, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.
Reilly’s facing multiple charges, including illegally operating a motor vehicle under the influence, evading responsibility, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, and reckless endangerment.
Michael Briscoe, a clinical therapist at Retreat Behavioral Health, said even if you’re under the legal limit, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive.
“A very little amount can impair your judgment and decision-making,” Briscoe said.
He wants people to know resources are out, whether that’s counseling or requesting an Uber.
Juan and Tati want to send the same message. They’re thankful no one was seriously hurt because they know things could have been much worse.
“The story would have been different. He would not be here,” Tati said. “I would have lost a husband, my kids would have lost a father in the blink of an eye for somebody’s irresponsibility.”
Reilly was issued a $5,000 bond and was released to a sober party. He is expected to make his first court appearance on June 27.