Donora man arrested for driving wrong way on I-70

September 2, 2014

A Donora man was arrested Friday night by state police after he reportedly was driving the wrong way on Interstate 70 near the Kammerer exit in Somerset Township.

Police said John William Gnora, 43, of 210 W. 11th St., was spotted driving his van west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 just before 10 p.m. by Charleroi Regional Officer David Kimball.

Kimball followed Gnora, activating his lights and sirens, in an attempt to get the driver to stop the van, but police say Gnora continued to drive the wrong way.

State police said they eventually were able to get Gnora to stop, and when they approached the van, a trooper spotted a 4-year-old child lying across the middle seat of the van.

Kimball told state police that he first spotted Gnora near the Ginger Hill exit and had been following him for about five miles before he stopped.

Gnora allegedly admitted to state police that he had seven beers and three shots of liquor. He also reportedly told the troopers that he knew he was going the wrong way, but had nowhere to turn around, and that he knew there was a police officer behind him. Police said Gnora’s blood-alcohol content was more than 1 1/2 times the 0.08 percent limit at which intoxication is presumed.

Gnora was arraigned before District Judge Mark Wilson on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, endangering the welfare of children, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless endangerment, failure to yield to approaching emergency vehicles and several traffic violations. He was released from Washington County Jail after posting $1,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 12 before District Judge Curtis Thompson.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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