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Dozing Driver Skirts Crash, Arrested for DUI

Woonsocket Police Headquarters is located at 242 Clinton St. Credit: Rob Borkowski
Woonsocket Police Headquarters is located at 242 Clinton St. Credit: Rob Borkowski
A driver asleep at the wheel nearly hit another car as he rode through the intersection of Mason Street and Pleasant Street early Friday morning.

Officers Patrick McGourty and Jeffrey Gagnon were called to the scene after a driver reported a pickup truck had nearly struck his vehicle and was stopped on Mason Street in the middle of the road, according to McGourty's report.

When the officers arrived, they found the pickup stopped in the middle of Mason Street as reported, blocking access to Pleasant Street. Inside, they found a heavy-set man in the driver's seat, unconscious and unresponsive, later identified as John Ohearn, 50 of 125 Cherry Hill Ave., North Smithfield. 

After much knocking on the truck window, the officers were able to rouse Ohearn, who exhibited bloodshot eyes, a flushed face and slow, deliberate movements. Ohearn took his foot off the brake, and his pickup began rolling toward a nearby utility pole until the officers were able to instruct him to put his foot back on it and put the truck into park. 

Ohearn unlocked the truck, and McGourty opened the door to retrieve the keys from the ignition. As he did, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vicinity of Ohearn. 

McGourty asked if Ohearn, who had difficulty standing on his own power, had been drinking, to which the driver replied, "All day," according to the officer's report. 

McGourty arrested Ohearn, charging him with driving under the influence, blood alcohol .15 or greater. 


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