WESTLAKE, Ohio (WJW)– A Fairview Park woman is facing charges of OVI and child endangering after driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 on Tuesday night.
It began shortly before 11 p.m. when witnesses reported a car, driven by 26-year-old Tarren Marissa Yuschak, was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of the interstate. She was heading from Lorain County into Westlake.
“We’re on 90 heading west, just went past Crocker Park, and there’s a guy heading the wrong way on the freeway with no lights on,” one witness told the dispatcher.
Another caller told the dispatcher the driver was, “Flashing his lights, turning them on and off. And he is in the west lanes driving east at a high rate of speed.”
Westlake police said an officer was able to catch up with the car and tried to alert Yuschak that she was going the wrong way on the highway.
“Our driver was on the correct side of the roadway with his emergency lights and siren going, trying to use a spotlight to get the attention of the female in the vehicle,” Westlake Police Cpt. Gerald Vogel said.
Police said another driver had to swerve into a ditch on the side of the highway to avoid being hit by Yuschak’s car. Investigators said Yuschak suddenly made a U-turn on the highway and started heading in the correct direction in the westbound lanes.
The police officer was unable to follow the car, but after running Yuschak’s license plate, he had a good idea where she was heading.
“So police in Fairview Park, where she lives, stopped her in her driveway. Our officers responded over there and confirmed that it was the same person driving the car the wrong way up on the highway,” Vogel said.
When officers looked inside Yuschak’s car, they were disturbed to discover her 3-year-old son was in the backseat. The child was turned over to a relative.
Police said after Yuschak failed a field sobriety test, she was taken to the Westlake Police Station. A breathalyzer test revealed that her blood-alcohol content was .165, more than twice the legal limit.
“Not only is it extremely disturbing to drive the wrong way on the highway, which ends up in many fatal accidents around this country every year,” Vogel said. “Not only does it endanger herself and the other motoring public on I-90, to put this 3-year-old in the situation is extremely disturbing and we believe very much so that she deserves the charge of endangering children.”
The incident is now the focus of an investigation by caseworkers with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services.