Drunk driver arrested while driving wrong way on Rt. 8

An alleged drunk driver heading the wrong way on Route 8 led police on a 30 mile chase through the Naugatuck Valley Wednesday morning.

Police began receiving 911 calls about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday reporting a vehicle traveling north in the southbound lanes of Route 8 between exits 11 and 12 in Shelton.

The driver, identified as 54-year-old Thomas Plesz of Fairfield, was held on $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Derby today, Jan. 27. He is facing seven criminal charges, including: Assaulting a public safety officer, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, reckless driving, first-degree reckless endangerment, disobeying signals from police and interfering.

An officer attempted to stop Plesz’s 2009 Nissan pickup truck near exit 15 in Shelton but he sped up past the unit.

State police issued an alert to surrounding Valley police departments asking them to stop any vehicles from getting on Route 8 south.

Seymour police put out spikes in an attempt to stop the drunk wrong-way driver near exit 21 — but Plesz sped past going at least 60 mph.

“Several attempts were made by troopers to stop the pickup,” according to state police. “However, the operator continued to maneuver his vehicle around the (police) cruisers at a high rate of speed,” reads the release sent out by state police.

Plesz then rammed his truck into a police car near exit 38, then rear-ended a second police car that had pulled in front of him to slow him down.

The two troopers whose vehicles were struck were sore after the impact, but were not transported to the hospital.

The chase ended near exit 38.

More updates on this story to come.