Police charge county man for leaving scene, injured woman
Published 9:00 am Tuesday, August 11, 2015
A Carter County man faces charges after police say he fled the scene of a car crash, leaving behind an injured woman who was trapped in the car.
Police arrested Jimmy Dean Moffitt, 35, of 1284 Charity Hill Road, Elizabethton, on Saturday and charged him with second offense driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, failure to give information and render aid and violation of an order of protection.
Just before 1 a.m. on Saturday, officers of the Elizabethton Police Department responded to a report of a single-vehicle accident in the 2000 block of Southside Road where the driver had fled the scene on foot.
While some officers responded to the scene of the crash, others began searching the area for the driver. EPD Officer Matthew Taylor saw a man, later identified as Moffitt, walking near the intersection of Southside Road and Gap Creek Road. Moffitt, who had visible injuries, initially denied he was in the crash but later admitted he had been driving the car, EPD Officer Justin Pearce said.
When Pearce arrived at the scene of the crash, he said he saw a blue 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier had struck a tree. “The front seat passenger of the vehicle, Melissa Miller, was trapped underneath the dashboard,” Pearce said. “Miller had to be extricated from the vehicle by EMS and she was transported to the hospital for medical treatment.”
Moffitt told officers he was driving east on Southside Road when he lost control of the car and struck the tree. After the crash, Moffitt said he walked away, leaving Miller behind, and was waiting for someone to pick him up on Gap Creek Road when police found him.
While speaking to Moffitt, Pearce noted the man had slurred speech and couldn’t stand up without leaning on something for support. Moffitt also smelled like an alcoholic beverage, the officer added.
“I asked Moffitt if he consumed any alcohol and he stated that he had ‘five or six beers’ and ‘smoked a joint,’” Pearce said, adding Moffitt said several times that he was “too drunk to drive.”
A check of Moffitt’s license revealed he had been convicted of driving under the influence in 2012 and his license had been revoked at that time. Officers also learned that Miller was a passenger in the vehicle even though she had taken an order of protection out against Moffitt in June.
Pearce arrested Moffitt and transported him to the Carter County Detention Center.
Moffitt appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Monday where he was arraigned and attorney C.J. Roberts was appointed to represent him. Judge Keith Bowers set Moffitt’s bond at $7,500 and ordered him to return to court today.