PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County police officer was hit head-on by a drunk driver who was traveling the wrong way on Sunrise Highway early Thursday morning, authorities said.

According to investigators, highway patrol officers were called to eastbound Sunrise Highway after a report of a car driving the wrong way around 3 a.m.

Police said as Officer Joseph Verdi tried to slow traffic in an effort to protect eastbound drivers, he was hit head-on by a 2012 Ford Van near Nicolls Road. Verdi had his emergency lights on at the time, police said.

Verdi was treated and released from Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center for minor injuries.

The driver of the van, 43-year-old Steven Hennessy of North Port, Florida, was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, reckless endangerment and reckless assault. He was not injured in the crash.

Police impounded Hennessy’s vehicle and said the investigation into the crash is ongoing.


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