Worcester man charged with DUI in crash at Northworks building

Worcester man charged with DUI in crash at Northworks building

Two people jumped out of the way as drunken driver crashed into scaffolding on Worcester building, police say

Two people who had just left The Fix restaurant in Worcester had to jump out of the way of an oncoming car, police said, and the alleged drunken driver of that car then crashed into the scaffolding of a Grove Street building.

The two people were standing outside The Fix around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday near 102 Grove St. when they saw a 2003 Nissan Xterra drive through construction cones that were set up around a JLG hydraulic lift, by the old Northworks building, Worcester police said. The building is undergoing renovations.

Then the Nissan crashed into the scaffolding in front of the Northworks building, police said, and the two people ran over to help the driver of the Nissan.

When police got to the scene, the driver, identified as Jose Velez, was outside of the Nissan, sitting on the ground and talking to Worcester firefighters, the statement said. 

The Nissan was under “a tangled pile of scaffolding,” police said. A utility pole was knocked down, a parking meter was bent, and a tire of the JLG hydraulic lift was ripped off from the impact of the crash.

As officers spoke to Velez, they noticed a “strong odor” of alcohol coming from his breath, police said. Based on the odor, evidence from the crash and field sobriety tests, police charged Velez with driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to stay within marked lanes.

WORCESTER – A Mohave Road man is facing drunk driving charges after crashing his sport utility vehicle into construction scaffolding on Grove Street early Thursday morning.

Police said the scaffolding took the brunt of the hit at the Northworks building at 102 Grove St., but the building was not compromised.

Police went to the building at 12:16 a.m. to find a 2003 Nissan Xterra under a tangled pile of scaffolding. A light pole was also knocked down, and a nearby parking meter was bent. A large hyrdaulic lift that was part of the renovation project at the building was extensively damaged.

Two witnesses who had just left The Fix restaurant told police they were walking under the scaffolding when they saw the Nissan go through the construction cones set up around the lift. The two had to jump out of the way, police said; once the Nissan came to a stop the two witnesses ran to help Mr. Velez out of the vehicle.

Police spoke with Mr. Velez; the officer interviewing him observed a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Based on physical evidence, the alcohol odor, and the results of some field tests, Mr. Velez was arrested and charged with a marked lanes violation and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and was later released back into police custody.

Police closed one lane of traffic closest to the building but vehicles were being allowed through the area.

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