Driver faces drug, other charges after accident

Published 8:09 am Friday, August 14, 2015

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A Carter County man faces multiple charges after police say he rear-ended a truck stopped at a traffic light Wednesday evening.
Officers of the Elizabethton Police department arrested John Perry, 41, of 161 South St. and charged him with driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, resisting stop/arrest, tampering with evidence, simple possession of Schedule II drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of financial responsibility and failure to exercise due care.
Around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, officers responded to a report of a car accident with injuries on Highway 91 at Judge Don Lewis Boulevard and Airport Road.
When officers arrived, they found a silver Toyota Tacoma with heavy damage to the rear and driver’s side parked on the shoulder of Airport Road and a GMC Jimmy over the south embankment of Highway 91. EPD Cpl. Doug Combs spoke with John Stolz, the driver of the Tacoma, while EPD Sgt. Lincoln Orellana and Officer Kenneth Lowe spoke with Perry, who had been driving the Jimmy.
Stolz told officers he was stopped at the traffic light at the intersection when he was struck from behind at a high rate of speed by Perry, Combs said. A witness told police he saw Perry’s truck strike the stopped pickup and then run off the road over the bank.
Officers saw Perry removing items from his vehicle and attempting to conceal a pill bottle in his pocket, Combs said, adding officers retrieved the pill bottle and escorted Perry away from his truck. The pill bottle contained nine pills identified by officers as hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance pain medication. Officers also found a pill fob containing five more hydrocodone and a piece of a blue straw with a powder residue.
“As I approached, I observed Mr. Perry place a white pill into his mouth. Officers advised him to remove the pill and Mr. Perry refused, insisting he had only take a ‘Tums,’” Combs said, adding the pill he saw Perry place in his mouth did not look like a Tums. “For the safety of Mr. Perry, officers attempted to stop him from ingesting the pill. Mr. Perry resisted officers attempts and ingested the pill.”
Combs noted Perry’s speech was slurred and he appeared to be under the influence. However, due to the injuries he sustained in the crash, Combs said he was unable to have Perry perform any field sobriety tests.
Perry told officers his brakes failed and that was the cause of the crash, Combs said.
A check of Perry’s license revealed it had been revoked in October 2014 for failing to provide proof of insurance.
Members of the Carter County Rescue Squad transported Stolz to a local hospital for treatment, Comb said, but no further information was available ont he extent of his injuries.
Perry was also taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries, and after receiving treatment he was taken to the Carter County Detention Center. He remains held there under a $15,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in General Sessions Court today.

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