Driver who crashed into an SUV in Biden's motorcade charged with DUI and 'inattentive driving'

 December 19, 2023

A car crashed into an SUV that was part of President Joe Biden's motorcade on Sunday night in Wilmington, Delaware, and though the president was startled by the collision he was not harmed.

The driver of the other vehicle that was involved in the accident has since been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and "inattentive driving," according to the Daily Beast.

The White House has not yet issued a formal response to the incident but a spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service -- as well as the Wilmington Police Department -- did release statements about what occurred.

Accident involving Biden's presidential motorcade

According to CNN, President Biden, accompanied by the first lady, had just finished addressing staffers at his campaign headquarters in the president's hometown of Wilmington on Sunday and was leaving the building when the accident that multiple members of the media witnessed transpired.

The loud sound of a collision was heard that reportedly startled the president and others and resulted in some Secret Service agents hustling Biden into another SUV in which the first lady was already loaded while other agents and police officers rushed toward the other vehicle with weapons drawn.

Notably, the streets were slick and glaringly reflective of the flashing lights following a day of heavy rain in the area.

Police and Secret Service issue statements

On Monday, CNN reported that the Wilmington Police announced that the driver of the other vehicle, an unnamed 46-year-old resident of the city, was charged for causing the accident involving an SUV that was part of the presidential motorcade.

David Karas, communications director for the Wilmington PD, said in a statement, "Following our investigation, Wilmington Police have determined that this was an accidental collision, and have charged the driver of the striking vehicle -- a 46-year-old Wilmington man -- with Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol and Inattentive Driving."

Steve Kopek, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, also released a statement Sunday night about the incident and made it clear that the president was not harmed nor had been in any danger.

Kopek said, "Today, at approximately 8:09 p.m., a Secret Service vehicle securing the President’s motorcade route was struck by another vehicle in Wilmington, DE. There was no protective interest associated with this event and the President’s motorcade departed without incident."

Charged suspect identified by New York Times

While the Wilmington Police declined to identify the suspect charged for his involvement in the accident with the Secret Service SUV, The New York Times named the man as James Cooper, 46, of Wilmington.

The license plates on his vehicle were clearly visible to all as members of the media watched police officers and Secret Service agents briefly hold the man at gunpoint until he surrendered.

The president and first lady had just finished having a special dinner meeting with Biden's 2024 campaign staffers in which his weak poll numbers were discussed when the accident occurred.

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