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Alleged DUI driver freed; Man allegedly struck cruiser, injuring trooper.

Byline: Scott J. Croteau

WORCESTER -- A Fitchburg motorist accused of hitting a state police cruiser on Interstate 290 while allegedly drunk was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment Tuesday.

It was his second arrest for drunken driving, according to a prosecutor.

Zachary F. Dion, 35, of 49 West St., Apt. 2, Fitchburg, was arraigned Tuesday in Central District Court on charges of drunken driving (second offense) and negligent driving. Pleas of not guilty were entered on his behalf. A judge released Mr. Dion on personal recognizance and ordered that he refrain from alcohol use.

A prosecutor said in court Tuesday that Mr. Dion had a prior drunken driving case continued without a finding. That case concluded a month ago.

Troopers were called to I-290 eastbound near the College Square exit around 8:15 p.m. Monday night on a report of a crash involving a car and a state police cruiser. The cruiser was heavily damaged after being struck from behind, authorities said.

The trooper in the cruiser was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, and has since been released. State police said the trooper was working a detail near a construction site at the time of the accident.

Mr. Dion was sitting on a guardrail when a trooper approached him at the accident scene. He had a bloody nose, according to police reports. Mr. Dion allegedly told the trooper he was "OK and wanted to go home.''

When the trooper asked what Mr. Dion was doing before the crash he allegedly responded, "Sir, I was just coming down the road, some cars were going slow so I passed them on the left and then hit another car. That's all I'm going to tell you, sir.''

There were signs posted before the construction site indicating the left two lanes were closed.

Mr. Dion's eyes appeared to be bloodshot, the smell of alcohol was coming from his breath and his speech was slurred, Assistant District Attorney Marc W. Dupuis said in court.

A trooper asked Mr. Dion what happened, but he allegedly again refused to talk about it, reports said. Mr. Dion refused to take field sobriety tests and he was arrested.

Mr. Dion was taken to the Holden barracks for booking. According to police reports, he refused to take a Breathalyzer test or answer questions.

"I'm not going to take the test and I want to talk to my lawyer,'' Mr. Dion said, according to police.

Contact Scott J. Croteau at Follow him on Twitter@ScottCroteauTG

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Title Annotation:Local
Author:Croteau, Scott J.
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 17, 2014
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