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‘An epidemic’: Brampton woman recalls close-call with alleged impaired driver

Click to play video: '2 men suspected of impaired driving causing death in 2 separate collisions in the GTA appear in court'
2 men suspected of impaired driving causing death in 2 separate collisions in the GTA appear in court
WATCH ABOVE: A third man was arrested for an impaired driving collision but no one was hurt. Catherine McDonald spoke to the alleged victim of that crash – Jul 4, 2022

A 49-year-old woman from Brampton, Ont., said she feels “lucky” that neither she nor her boyfriend were injured after being struck by an alleged drunk driver on Sunday.

Connie told Global News she and her boyfriend were headed to the grocery store Sunday, driving in their Volvo southbound on McLaughlin Road when they stopped at a red light at Steeles Avenue. Global News has agreed not to use her surname.

Read more: 2 killed, baby hospitalized in 2 separate Brampton and Mississauga collisions

As they sat at the red light, Connie said, they noticed a man driving up behind them erratically.

“He was all over the place,” she said adding that he was “swaying” and “veering to the right and to the left.”

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She said the car stopped behind them, but then they felt a “bump” on their vehicle.

Peel police said in a tweet they had arrested a man “for an impaired related offence” following a collision in the area of Steeles Avenue West and McLaughlin Road.

Connie said her boyfriend put their car in park, and got out to speak to the man in the vehicle behind.

“The guy kept trying to drive forward while he was behind us, so it was like he was trying to push us,” she said.

According to Connie, the man’s head was bobbing. “We knew he was drunk at this point,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Toronto man killed in alleged impaired driving incident'
Toronto man killed in alleged impaired driving incident

Connie said the man would not get out of his vehicle, so her boyfriend reached in and turned the car off. She said the man attempted to start the car again, and put it in reverse.

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She said that’s when her boyfriend took the keys from the ignition. The man then exited the car and began running along Steeles Avenue.

Connie said she and another woman began to follow him, but when she finally got through to 9-1-1, the dispatcher asked her to return to the vehicles so she could give police the man’s licence plate number.

According to Connie, the other woman and her husband followed the man until he was apprehended by officers.

“I feel very lucky that nobody was hurt and that he wasn’t hurt as well,” she said, adding that they were very close to the intersection and could have been hit by oncoming traffic.

Read more: Peel Region sees 3rd significant vehicle collision in 24 hours, driver in custody

Connie said impaired driving “really is an epidemic.”

“It’s terrible but we feel very lucky that things didn’t turn out worse than they were, and I’m very happy that we were able to follow him to the point that he was found,” she said.

According to Connie, the man was approximately 30-years-old, and was driving a Hyundai Elantra.

She said the accident occurred in broad daylight — just after noon.

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“It’s absolutely horrible,” she said of drinking and driving. “I think it should be zero tolerance across the board. No drinking, no nothing.”

Click to play video: 'Police warn impaired driving is on the rise'
Police warn impaired driving is on the rise

Connie said luckily, there was no damage to her vehicle.

She said she and her boyfriend feel especially lucky, after learning that several fatal collisions occurred in the Greater Toronto Area over the weekend.

Connie said people “will do stupid things when they’re drinking,” adding that “many people” have been killed by impaired drivers.

“(It’s) absolutely disgusting to be in that kind of shape and drive,” she said.

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