Driver Impaired By Gasoline Fumes Faces Assault Charges

opp cruiser

On February 18, 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Traffic Incident Management Enforcement unit was on patrol duties on Highway 17 in the Municipality of Huron Shores.

Shortly after 10:00 a.m., police observed a westbound car travelling at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 between Trunk Road and McPhee Road west of Town of Thessalon. The officer attempted a traffic stop but the car accelerated and continued westbound. A short time later, police were able to pull in front of the car and safely bring it to a stop.

While speaking to the driver, the officer was overwhelmed with the smell of gasoline fumes from the interior of the car.

A large 45 litre rubber tote container was located on the rear passenger seat that was three quarters full of liquid petroleum gasoline. The tote lid was not secure, spilling gasoline all over the interior. The fumes were extremely strong, and it was determined the driver was impaired. The driver was agitated and assaultive towards police when told that that fuel could not be transported in that manner.

A member of the public assisted the OPP officer with the arrest.

As a result, Zkarias WADGA, 33 years-of-age from Kitchener was charged with:

  • Operation While Impaired-alcohol and drugs
  • Dangerous Operation
  • Assault with Intent to Resist Arrest
  • Operate Unsafe Vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Fail to Comply with Federal Regulations Safety Standards-Insecure Load

The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Elliot Lake on April 6, 2023.

The vehicle was rendered unfit/unsafe by the officer due to the amount of liquid petroleum that had soaked into the interior of the car. As a result, the plates were seized, and the vehicle towed.

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