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Mahwah DWI Driver, 69, Who Hit Cars 'Thought They Were Trees'

The damaged Hyundai.
The damaged Hyundai. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Mahwah PD

MAHWAH, N.J. -- An intoxicated 69-year-old Mahwah woman struck seven parked cars in her condominium complex with her sedan overnight Monday, then parked in front of her home and went inside, police said.

Ellen M. Keiser told responding officers just after 2 a.m. that she thought she'd hit trees, and not cars, and "may have fallen asleep," Police Chief James Batelli told Daily Voice.

Her 2013 Hyundai had extensive driver’s front and side damage, the chief said. Seven other cars in a row were also damaged, he said.

"During the conversation, Officer [Keith] Iorio detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath and her speech was slurred when answering his questions," Batelli said.

Iorio arrested Keiser after she failed field sobriety tests, he said.

After submitting breath samples at police headquarters, she received summonses for:

  • DWI;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Failure to report an accident;
  • Failure to exhibit registration;
  • Failure to exhibit an insurance card

A June 21 court date was set and Keiser was released.

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