‘Wrong way’ driver being held on $250,000 bail

A 26-year-old Miller Place man and former school teacher who was allegedly high on drugs and driving in the wrong direction on Route 25  in Calverton crashed a Nissan head-on into two cars Tuesday, sending one person to an area hospital, police said.

Ryan McCready was treated at the scene of the 5 p.m. crash and transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, but not before he was placed under arrest and charged with DWI drugs and with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic needle, police said. Not his first run-in with the law, Mr. McCready was fired from Southampton schools last year after two arrests for drugs and DWI.

He was also the head coach of the Southampton High School wrestling team before his dismissal.

Prior to Tuesday’s crash, Riverhead Police had been receiving reports of a Nissan Altima being driving erratically on Route 25, police said. The 911 callers then said the driver was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.

“Within moments of those calls” the Nissan crashed into two vehicles headed west, according to a police report. One of those vehicles, a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee was sent into an embankment. The other, a 2006 Ford pickup truck, came to rest in the westbound lane.

Mr. McCready’s Nissan remained in the roadway, facing east in the westbound lanes, police said. The Jeep’s driver was treated at Peconic Bay Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries. The other driver was not injured.

He pleaded not guilty in Riverhead Town Court Wednesday and is being held in lieu of $250,00 bail or $500,000 bond, prosecutors said.

His next court appearance is Dec. 29.

The crash happened just hours after Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy held a large press event in Ronkonkoma regarding DWI drivers who end up heading the ‘wrong way’ on county highways. At the event, the Suffolk Police commissioner and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) representatives announced an upcoming law enforcement and public awareness campaign designed to curtail such potentially fatal incidents.

The initiative comes after a series of high-profile crashes allegedly by intoxicated drivers using the wrong lanes of travel.

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