YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: An unlicensed drunk driver’s SUV barreled through a closed Lincoln Tunnel tube overnight, slamming through closed gates, before Port Authority police nabbed him on the West Side Highway moments later.
Mario H. Saldana, 34, of the Bronx “admitted to drinking and asked the officer if he had hit something,” the authority’s Joseph Pentangelos told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.
No workers were injured, he said.
Saldana sped past officers who tried to stop his 2004 GMC at the closed south tunnel just before 2:30 a.m., Pentangelo said.
Surveillance cameras show it crashing through the gate and then heading west toward the highway.
Officers found the vehicle just north of 57th Street, Pentangelo said: It had heavy front-end damage, with both smoke and anti-freeze pouring out of it.
The engine was running and Saldana was behind the wheel, he said.
“His eyes were bloodshot, watery and there was a strong odor of liquor on him,” Pentangelo said.
Saldana was charged with DWI, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to comply with an officer’s orders — and not having a driver’s license.