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520 Wrong-Way Driver Strikes State Trooper's Car

A wrong-way driver on State Route 520 struck a Washington State Patrol trooper just before midnight Monday, the WSP said.

A wrong-way driver drove the length of the State Route 520 Bridge and struck a Washington State Patrol car on the Seattle side just before midnight Tuesday, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The driver, identified as Julio Martinez-Cortes, 26, of Seattle, drove a 1998 Plymouth Neon westbound in the eastbound lanes after getting on the freeway at a 520 construction site at 84th Avenue in Medina, said Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Julie Judson.

A worker on the Washington State Department of Transportation project at the site reported the wrong-way driver, Judson said, as did several other drivers on State Route 520.

Martinez-Cortes drove the length of State Route 520 to the Montlake portion of the highway, causing several drivers to make evasive maneuvers and causing at least one other collision, Judson said.

Trooper Andrew Boyer, 27, was on his way to the scene in a 2007 Washington State Patrol Crown Victoria when a taxi driver in front of him got out of Martinez-Cortes' way, Judson said. Boyer attempted to get out of the way, but Martinez-Cortes struck the patrol car, she said.

Martinez-Cortes drove another 20 feet and the car stopped facing northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5, Judson said.

Martinez-Cortes was taken to Harborview Medical Center for injuries, though the extent of the injuries was not immediately available, Judson said. He faces charges of driving under the influence and hit and run, she said.

The trooper was not injured, she said.

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