As Nyack volunteer firefighters investigated a gas leak at a Main Street restaurant, Orangetown police officers faced a separate danger - a car that drove onto the closed-off street and nearly hit them.
A 26-year-old Orangeburg resident has been charged with drunken driving as a result of the 3:11 a.m. incident on Saturday at Main Street and Cedar Street.
No one was injured.
Members of the Nyack Fire Department and Orangetown police were called to The King and I restaurant, 93 Main St., at about 2:15 a.m. to investigate an odor of gas. Nyack Fire Chief James Petriello said firefighters evacuated the three-story building and Main Street was blocked off from Cedar Street to Broadway as a precaution.
Petriello said firefighters found that natural gas was coming out of a leaking burner in the restaurant's kitchen. Workers from Orange and Rockland Utilities were called to assist with the leak.
Police and fire vehicles closed off the street, along with yellow caution tape as the gas problem was being addressed. At about 3:11 a.m., police said a 2012 Toyota Corolla driven by Leah Louis Parish, 26, of 46 Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, turned from Cedar Steet and went east onto Main Street — into the closed off street where emergency personnel were working.
Police and firefighters said Parish went past a police car that was blocking Main Street and drove through caution tape. Several police officers were standing on the closed-off roadway and narrowly avoided being hit.
When town police officers told the woman to roll down her driver's window, police said she instead put the car in reverse and started to back up. She was stopped a short time later and police said Parish appeared intoxicated.
Police said Parish failed field sobriety checks in Nyack and later failed a chemical breath test for alcohol at Orangetown Police Headquarters in Orangeburg. Parish was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and cited for disobeying traffic control, a violation.
She was released pending an Oct. 18 hearing in Nyack Village Court.