MPD Traffic Officer springs into action to stop wrong-way driver from colliding with DUI Checkpoint

On Saturday, September 19, 2020 at about 1:24 a.m., Dekla Helgenberger (57) of Waiehu was arrested for Habitual Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, Possession of an Open Liquor Container While Operating a Vehicle, Reckless Driving and Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License.

Investigation reveals Maui Police Department Dispatch received a call just after 1 a.m. Saturday morning about a vehicle driving the wrong way down Haleakala Highway.  At the time, Traffic Section officers were less than two miles away from this wrong-way driver conducting an Intoxication Control Checkpoint.  This Intoxication Control Checkpoint just so happened to be in the direct path of the wrong-way driver. 

DUI Task Force Officer Caleb Guarriello was one of the officers working the checkpoint and immediately sprang into action to intercept this vehicle before it could crash into another vehicle or collide into the checkpoint.

Officer Guarriello immediately activated the emergency blue lights and siren on his police vehicle to warn other motorist and stop this wrong-way driver.  Officer Guarriello came face-to-face with the wrong way vehicle on Haleakala Highway near North Firebreak Road where he was able to stop the wrong way driver without it crashing and causing another preventable death or injuries. 

Helgenberger was identified as the female operator of the vehicle.

Later in the afternoon, on September 19, 2020, Helgenberger was released from police custody, after posting $5,600 bail. 

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