Man accused of driving under the influence in Hampton causes head-on collision

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022


A Johnson City man who was accused of driving under the influence Saturday night caused a head-on collision, resulting in injuries to drivers of both vehicles involved.

The collision happened around 8:30 p.m. Saturday on Highway 19E in Hampton when 27-year-old Brigido Morales of Johnson City was traveling southbound in a northbound lane. Upon doing so, Morales in his 2012 gray Nissan Versa collided with a northbound 2020 white Hyundai Elantra that was being driven by a 17-year old male.

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Neither vehicle contained any passengers.

In a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Trooper Bruce Bolton reported that he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Morales. Officers said that open cans of Modelo beer were found on the passenger side floorboard of the Nissan. Morales was airlifted to the Johnson City Medical Center Emergency Room shortly after the incident.

Bolton spoke with the 17-year old male, where the juvenile told him that the Nissan did not have its headlights on at the time of the crash. Crash investigators indicated that the headlight switch on the Nissan was in the off position. The juvenile was taken to Sycamore Shoals Hospital for a cut on his hand.

Bolton reported that Morales’ license was revoked out of Washington County in 2021 because of a financial responsibility violation. After being discharged from Johnson City Medical Center on Sunday, Morales was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, an open container violation, light law violation, not wearing a seat belt, failure to exercise due care, and reckless driving.

Morales’ bond was set at $3,750.

On Monday, Morales was arraigned in Carter County General Sessions Court, where Judge Keith Bowers Jr. set his bond at $10,000 and set his next court date for Feb. 7.