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Driver charged with DUI after truck found in mill race

Published 9:57am Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When they responded to an accident with a vehicle crashed into the Doe River Mill Race, Elizabethton Police Department officers found a truck, but no driver.
EPD Capt. Anthony Buck was dispatched to the intersection of North Sycamore Street and Race Street at 10:41 p.m. Friday. Dispatchers said the driver had left the scene headed toward the Elk’s Lodge, and was wearing a blue shirt and white pants.
At the scene, Buck found a blue Chevrolet S-10 with its nose down in the mill race at the intersection.
“It appeared the vehicle was traveling west on North Sycamore Street, ran through the stop sign and through the intersection, hopped the curb and came to a rest nose front in the creek,” Buck wrote. He added both doors were locked and a smell of alcohol was coming from the truck.
EPD Cpl. Sarah Ellison and Officer Kenneth Lowe found Michael Fouts, 59, 210 Short Coal Chute Road, Elizabethton, at the Elk’s Lodge. Fouts was wearing a blue shirt and white pants.
The officers took Fouts back to the accident scene, which was three blocks from the lodge building. Police described Fouts as smelling of alcohol and having trouble standing.
Officers said they asked Fouts how his truck ended up in the creek.
“Defendant stated he had loaned the vehicle to Frank, and did not know his last name,” Buck wrote in the report. “Defendant states he had Frank go to the store for cigarettes. Defendant stated he had heard his truck was involved in a wreck, walked back to the truck and back to the lodge and was going to call the police. Although the defendant had a cell phone in his possession at the time, as well as a pack of cigarettes in his shirt pocket.”
Buck also wrote that Fouts’ pants were wet and muddy and had two sets of keys to his truck. An inventory of the truck found a pack of cigarettes, a bag with smoking material “consistent with the usage of smoking marijuana and appeared to contain marijuana residue.”
According to the report, Fouts was given sobriety tests which he “performed poorly” on and the test had to be terminated “due to his level of intoxication.”
Fouts was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, simple possession/casual exchange, driving under the influence and unlawful drug paraphernalia.

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