Wrong-way driver arrested after pursuit in Scottsdale closed NB Loop 101 Pima freeway

Aug 30, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2023, 6:05 am

Adam Wanko...

Adam Christopher Wanko, 52, was arrested on numerous charges stemming from multiple crashes on a Scottsdale freeway on Aug. 29. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — A wrong-way driver was arrested on Tuesday after a police pursuit in Scottsdale led to a crash that closed northbound Loop 101 Pima Freeway.

Around 4:20 p.m., an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer observed a car without a license plate and initiated a traffic stop on the driver, authorities said.

The driver, 52-year-old Adam Christopher Wanko, fled from the trooper which initially started a chase heading north. The pursuit lasted one mile before the trooper performed a successful precision intervention technique (PIT) maneuver that brought Wanko to a complete stop.

Wanko then intentionally drove in circles and accelerated southbound in the northbound lanes. The trooper decided to chase Wanko in the opposite direction, authorities said.

After traveling the wrong way for one mile, Wanko was involved in a collision with five other vehicles. Wanko, as well as a passenger in his car, sustained injuries and four people in other vehicles reported minor injuries including muscle soreness, abrasions and lacerations, authorities said.

All patients were taken to a hospital for their injuries.

Wanko was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of unlawful flight from a law enforcement Vehicle, a Class 5 felony, five counts of endangerment, a Class 6 felony as well as two outstanding felony warrants.

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Wrong-way driver arrested after pursuit in Scottsdale closed NB Loop 101 Pima freeway