Niagara Gazette

October 29, 2012

Woman, good samaritan both charged with DWI

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A one-car accident resulted in two DWI arrests early Sunday morning, according to police.

April R. Barnes, 21, of Niagara Road, Niagara Falls, was driving while intoxicated on Delaware Street near Roosevelt Street in the City of Tonawanda. She drove her vehicle off the road, hitting a pole and flipping her car at around 1:28 a.m. Sunday.

A few motorists stopped after the accident, including Samuel Dipalma.

"He got her out of the car and put her into his car," Lt. Fredric Foels said.

The 46-year-old of Wynnwood Ave., Tonawanda, told Barnes he would take her to the hospital so she wouldn't get arrested.

Once officers arrived, other witnesses pointed out DiPalma's car, which was traveling down Delaware Street.

"They pulled the car over and came to find out DiPalma was intoxicated, too," Foels said.

DiPalma was arrested for felony DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He refused a breath test.

DiPalma had a previous DWI conviction in the Town of Tonawanda in 2009.

Barnes, who was not injured, was arrested for DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and moving from a lane unsafely.

"As best we know, they don't know each other," Foels said. "DiPalma just happened to see the accident."

Both drivers were held for court.