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Third Time In A Week - Accused Drunk Driver Crashes Into Highway Crew

RAYNHAM (CBS) -- State Police say it's happened again.

For the third time this week, an accused drunk driver has hit someone in a work zone on a highway.

The latest crash came just after 3 a.m. Thursday on Route 24 near Exit 13A in Raynham.

A Bristol County Sheriff's Department van was parked in the northbound lanes on a construction detail when it was hit from behind by a 2007 Jeep Compass.

Police say the Jeep driver, Maria Nunes-Daveiga, 29, of Brockton was drunk.  She's charged with operating under the influence of liquor and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. She was released on bail pending her arraignment in Taunton District Court Thursday.

Prosecutors say that when officers asked her following the crash if she had been drinking, she said she "did not have that much."

Records show Nunes-Daveiga has several speeding tickets and violations on her driving record. The Mass. RMV said Thursday afternoon that her license had been suspended.

In total, there are 55 incidents on Nunes-Daveiga's record. She has three prior accidents, a prior open container violation, and once in the span of four days was pulled over for speeding twice.

Maria Nunes-Daveiga
Maria Nunes-Daveiga is arraigned on June 30, 2016. (WBZ-TV)

The Sheriff's Department said Deputy Patricia Allen was sitting in the van at the time of the crash, but she was not hurt.  Allen got out of the van after the crash to check on the driver of the Jeep. No one else was injured.

"Deputy Allen felt very fortunate that she got to go home to her four children," Jonathan Darling, a spokesman for the Bristol County Sheriff's Office, said in a statement Thursday.  "Others in her situation recently weren't as lucky. We're urging everyone, especially with a holiday weekend upon us, to drive safely, slow down and to use a designated driver."

According to the Sheriff's Department, Allen's van was sitting behind a crew of workers picking up signs and cones, and Allen had the emergency lights on.

The van was not carrying prisoners at the time of the collision.

Nunes-Daveiga's lawyer said after her arraignment that she was not drunk at the time of the crash, and instead another driver was at fault.

"She says she was cut off and that in losing control of her vehicle she struck this car. So there's all sorts of remorse, sure," said attorney Ken Fredette.

The crash came two days after a highway worker was struck and killed on I-93 in Medford by a man police say was driving drunk.

The first incident happened Monday morning, when a man was charged with striking a MassDOT worker while driving drunk just outside the Ted Williams Tunnel.

Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker said authorities were discussing ways to make sure that people working on roads are safe.

"There's a conversation that's currently going on between the folks at DOT and the construction industry about construction sites set up and management generally, and obviously everybody's goal is to make sure that those sites are safe," Gov. Baker said.


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