standing Westerly police 2

WESTERLY — A Massachusetts woman and Rhode Island man are each facing charges after the police said both were involved in crashes early Sunday morning while driving under the influence.

Westerly police on Sunday charged Seleste E. Stahmer, of Uxbridge, Mass., and James Mariano, of Johnston, both 23, with driving under the influence and laned roadway violations. Stahmer was also charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the two cases both stemmed from crashes that took place as each was returning from trips to Westerly beaches.

According to a police report, Stahmer was charged following a crash at approximately 12:15 a.m. at the intersection of Winnapaug Road and Airport Road. Police, fire and ambulance personnel were dispatched to a one-car crash and arrived to find that Stahmer's 2013 Kia Rio in the middle of the intersection with heavy front end damage.

The police said two passengers in the car were out when officers arrived. One of the passengers had a noticeable cut on his head and was treated at the scene.

Stahmer was found at the wheel of the car, according to the police, and told officers that she was driving north on Winnapaug Road when she came upon the intersection "and did not see the turn." An investigation determined she had driven through the intersection before striking a guardrail on the north side of the roadway.

Stahmer showed signs of intoxication and was given a preliminary breathalyzer test which returned a blood alcohol content reading of .246. At the Westerly Police Department, she refused to consent to further tests, leading to the additional charge.

Around 1 a.m., Westerly police, fire and ambulance personnel were called to the scene of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Shore Road and Route 1. Dunn's Corners firefighters and personnel with the Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Service also assisted in the response, the police said.

According to police reports, a witness was driving north on Route 1 behind a green van when they approached the intersection. According to both the witness and passengers in the van, Mariano came upon the intersection without stopping and struck the passenger's side of the van with a silver sedan.

The police said the driver of the van and a passenger, both men, complained of minor injuries and were taken to an area hospital. A second passenger in the van was not injured.

Mariano, who was not injured, told the police that he never saw the van. He was given a portable breathalyzer test which returned a blood alcohol content reading of .180. At the Westerly Police Department, he consented to further tests which returned readings of .168 and .157 in separate phases.

Both Stahmer and Mariano are expected to appear in Fourth Division District Court for arraignment later this week.

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