BOSTON — New York state troopers working in the Boston area received a call on Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. that a black SUV, driving southbound on Route 391, was operating in an erratic manner. While troopers checked the area, a report of a vehicle that had been involved in a crash on Route 391, was dispatched. When arriving on the scene, the trooper found a black Mercury Mountaineer disabled on the shoulder of the roadway. He determined that the vehicle had crossed into the northbound lane, then traveled back across the southbound lane and off the roadway, striking a mailbox, a hay wagon with pumpkins for sale in a yard and a fence.
The operator identified as Barbara J. Bender-Suto, 52, of Cole Road in Colden, said she was uninjured from the crash but showed signs of intoxication. She failed field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for driving while intoxictaed. Bender-Suto admitted to taking multiple prescription narcotics.
Witnesses to the accident confirmed the erratic operation, prior to the crash. Bender-Suto was transported to Erie County Medical Center by the patrol and was checked by the emergency room staff. She was also evaluated by a New York state police drug recognition expert, who confirmed Bender-Suto’s intoxication from narcotics/depressants. Bender-Suto was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and voluntarily submitted a blood sample for testing.
A check of her license showed a previous conviction for DWI within the last 10 years, and as a result, the DWI and DWAI-drug arrests were charged as E felonies. Bender-Suto was additionally charged with the violations of moving from lane unsafely and failed to use a designated lane. She was issued traffic tickets and is scheduled to appear in the town of Boston Court on a later date.