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Man arrested, charged with impaired driving, after series of crashes
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 8:17AM MST
Last Updated Friday, February 8, 2013 6:16PM MST
A suspected impaired driver has been arrested and charged, after a series of crashes that spanned six city blocks north of downtown early Friday morning.
Edmonton police say a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer first hit a taxi at 106 Avenue and 101 Street just before 3 a.m.
Police believe the driver then fled east down 106 Avenue, where he hit a police cruiser and a number of parked vehicles.
"The ironic part of this scenario was the police car that was struck was actually transportating another impaired driver from a separate incident to police headquarters for processing," said Acting Sgt. Bill Krull.
In total, six vehicles were damaged and two police officers, the impaired driver being transported by police, and the cab driver, received minor injuries.
Police say the driver of the truck tried to flee the scene on foot but was arrested and taken into custody.
Chad Scott Nelson, 25, has been charged with fourt counts of criminal hit-and-run, dangerous driving, impaired driving, and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
"Three times the legal limit is unusual, not suprising, but it is unusual," Krull said.
"That is a very high blood alcohol concentration."
Nelson remains in police custody.
The crashes forced the road closure of 106 Avenue from 96 Street to 101 Street for approximately eight hours.
Meanwhile the incident comes as new numbers show 2013 is off to a more dangerous start than the year before, when it comes to impaired driving.
In January alone, police laid 58 impaired driving charges. That's 22 more charges than the same time the year before.
Police were also called to seven incidents where an alleged impaired driver was found asleep at the wheel.
Krull says the numbers can vary based on the amount of enforcement, but admits it's frustrating.
"The trends we see, it continues, it doesn't improve. We're not seeing a major decrease of impaired drivers out there," he said.
He adds impaired driving is a problem year-round.
"Impaired driving is ongoing throughout the year," he said.
"Our efforts are always to educate the public and ensure we do the best to ensure the streets of Edmonton are kept safe."
With files from Veronica Jubinville
A series of collisions, allegedly caused by a suspected drunk driver, forced Edmonton police to shut down part of 106 Avenue for several hours Friday morning.