Drunk driver strikes 2 state police cars in Chicopee, K9 taken to vet

Local News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts state police made two arrests after an alleged drunk driver struck two police cars while troopers were conducting a traffic stop on I-91 north in Chicopee overnight.

Massachusetts State Police spokesperson Dave Procopio told 22News, two state troopers were outside their cruisers on Route 91 investigating a drug suspect when a drunk driver slammed into both police cars. Procopio said one of the suspects was outside of the car and was not injured. A state police dog, however, was inside one of the police cars that was hit and was taken to a veterinary hospital. It was later released with no reported injuries.

The driver of the 2020 Subaru Forester that struck the two police cars was identified as 29-year-old Ryan Churilo of East Windsor Connecticut. Procopio said troopers observed an odor of alcohol while speaking to Churilo and asked him to submit field sobriety tests in which he completed partially before refusing to finish.

Procopio said after being involved in a collision with another car in the middle lane, the Forester began rolling over toward the two police cars parked in the breakdown lane. The rolling Forester first struck the left driver and the passenger doors of the state police K9 car then continued about 20 more feet where it crashed into the rear of and came to rest up against the patrol trooper’s car. Procopio said both men who were initially stopped by police were evaluated by troopers.

Procopio said after troopers located two bottles of white wine both outside and inside Churilo’s car. Observing his statements and performance on the partial field sobriety tests, he was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

Churilo was taken to State Police Springfield Barracks where he refused to submit a breath-alcohol test which resulted in an automatic driver license suspension, Procopio said. He was booked on the charges and had a bail set at $500, with an additional $40 clerk fee, which he posted. Churilo was released to a family member and was issued a summons to appear in Springfield District Court for arraignment.

In addition to that arrest, one of the men in the car that was initially stopped before the crash occurred had three outstanding warrants and was allegedly in possession of powder cocaine concealed in a folded dollar bill said Procopio. 41-year-old Felix J. Esocbar of Springfield was arrested and taken to State Police Springfield Barracks where he was booked. Esocbar was then taken to the Hampden County House of Correction and held without bail on the warrants until court next week.

Procopio said Escobar was the passenger in the Mazda that a trooper observed committing a marked lanes violation on Route 91 northbound around 12:02 midnight. The trooper stopped his car adjacent to Exit 12 and spoke to those inside the car. Trooper noticed Escobar not wearing a seatbelt and asked for his information that the trooper later determined was a fake. Escobar later provided his correct name and information. After recovering the powder cocaine in the car, the trooper requested a state police dog to help search the rest of his car.

When back up arrived a few moments later, Procopio said troopers were further investigating the car when Churilo approached the northbound, lost control, and struck the two police cars said Procopio. The area was cleared around 2:29 a.m.

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