Semitruck driver accused of causing 6-vehicle crash

A semitruck driver pleaded not guilty Friday to causing a six-vehicle collision in Lakewood that put a woman in a coma Thursday and snarled traffic at state Route 512 and Interstate 5 for hours.

Jose Trinidad, 41, was ordered held in lieu of $250,000 bail after pleading not guilty to vehicular assault and reckless endangerment.

Washington State Patrol troopers believe Trinidad was under the influence of drugs, possibly methamphetamine, when his truck slammed into the back of a Prius stopped at a red light.

The force pushed the car into other vehicles and across the intersection.

The Prius driver suffered a head injury, broke three limbs and was put into a medically induced coma. Another man from the collision was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Pierce County prosecutors said additional charges might be filed against Trinidad.

Charging papers give this account of the crash:

Trinidad was driving west on state Route 512 in a semitruck without a trailer when it hit the rear of the Prius about 1:45 p.m.

The Prius was pushed into a Pontiac Grand AM stopped in front of it, forcing the Pontiac over a guardrail on the side of the freeway. The car came to rest with its rear atop the guardrail.

The semi continued shoving the Prius across traffic, through the intersection and into the side of a Ford pickup turning left onto eastbound state Route 512.

The pickup then hit a Honda Civic.

Firefighters had to extract a woman from the Prius.

When troopers arrived, Trinidad told them he’d fallen asleep behind the wheel and denied being on medication. He was “shaking and spasming uncontrollably,” according to records.

Troopers believed he was under the influence of intoxicants.

When they asked about small dots on his forearm near a vein, Trinidad said they were spider bites and denied he’d used drugs. He admitted to sometimes using meth.

Trinidad was arrested in Colorado in August for possessing meth, court records show.

Deputy Prosecutor Tim Jones told the court Trinidad is a self-employed truck driver who lives in Los Angeles.

Investigators believe he left the Portland area about 4 a.m. Thursday to make deliveries in South Seattle. He was driving west on state Route 512 on his way to I-5 to head back south, when the wreck happened.

Jones said in court that Trinidad had limited criminal history, but noted that he appeared to be on probation for having methamphetamine in Fort Collins, Colorado in August.

After Thursday’s wreck, he was taken to Allenmore Hospital for a drug test. Toxicology results were not immediately available.

The investigation closed the area for more than four hours.

http://amp.thenewstribune.com/news/local/crime/article126495874.html

On-duty bus driver arrested on suspicion of DUI

A TriMet bus heads up NW 23rd Avenue in Portland on Dec. 15, 2016.

An on-duty TriMet bus driver was arrested early Tuesday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

A Gresham police officer saw a TriMet Line 20 bus speeding on Southeast Stark Street near 205th Avenue just after 12:30 a.m., the Gresham Police Department said in a news release.

The officer stopped the bus and spoke to the driver, who showed signs of impairment, police said. The driver, Lamont Biggs, 55, of Portland, was arrested after an investigation on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Police said there was one passenger on the bus who left during the traffic stop and wasn’t identified.

Biggs had been on duty since 4:42 p.m., a TriMet spokeswoman said.

Paramedics were called because of a medical condition, which police did not describe further. Biggs was cited and released, police said, because the medical condition prevented him from being lodged at Multnomah County Jail.

Biggs was hired as a bus operator in 2016, according to TriMet records previously obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

A spokeswoman for the transit agency said Biggs has been placed on administrative leave during an internal investigation, and that the driver could be fired if the accusation of DUII is upheld.

“We have more than 1500 operators who work diligently day in and day out to provide safe transit service,” said Roberta Altstadt, the spokeswoman. “An incident such as this does not reflect their commitment or TriMet’s commitment to our community.”

A TriMet supervisor picked up the bus after Biggs’ arrest, police said.

https://articles.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2018/02/on-duty_trimet_bus_driver_arre.amp

Driver was under the influence of heroin in Derry crash, troopers allege

Paul Peirce

State police in Greensburg allege a Hempfield man was under the influence of heroin when he ignored a stop sign in Derry Township almost a year ago and caused a two-vehicle crash.

Kody R. Konop, 25, is charged with driving under a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, careless driving, failing to stop at a stop sign and reckless driving in connection with the March 13 accident at the intersection of South Valley Street and Route 217.

Witnesses told Trooper Brandon Boyd that Konop appeared to have his head down toward his lap when he ignored a stop sign on South Valley Street at 11:31 a.m. while driving a 1999 Toyota Corolla and collided with a 2007 Chevrolet Impala traveling on Route 217, according to an affidavit filed with Derry District Judge Mark Bilik.

Boyd reported Konop was airlifted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of multiple injuries he suffered in the crash, but he spoke to Konop in an ambulance after he was extricated from his car.

“Konop advised that he had lost his brakes and was unable to stop for the stop sign. I asked Konop if he had been drinking or had taken any illegal drugs,” Boyd wrote.

“Konop stated, ‘I shot up last night. … I am dope sick,’” Boyd wrote in the affidavit.

Boyd reported that he saw Konop “go on the nod” multiple times as he was interviewed and that Konop admitted that he had been addicted to heroin.

An emergency medical technician told troopers that Konop “had admitted to him he was using drugs” before the crash, the trooper said.

Boyd said he confiscated a hypodermic needle “that was sticking out of a pair of black and red socks that was in the door pocket” of Konop’s vehicle.

The complaint was mailed via summons. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 14 before Bilik.

https://www.aol.com/article/entertainment/2018/02/15/tlc-90-day-fiance-star-jorge-nava-arrested-for-possession-of-293-pounds-of-marijuana/23362912/

Officer charged with stealing money from woman he arrested

A GBI investigation led to two charges against the officer

ATLANTA — A north Georgia police officer is facing charges and is under investigation by state agents after allegedly stealing money from a woman he arrested.

Warrants provided to 11Alive allege East Ellijay Police Department officer Michael Gene McClure was arresting 53-year-old Donna Adams of Blairsville, Georgia when his own actions became the subject of an internal investigation.

Adams was arrested on several charges ranging from driving under the influence of drugs to tampering with evidence. But according to sworn statements from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, her arresting officer took the opportunity to steal from her.

According to the report, McClure allegedly stole a $150 money order from Adams’ purse and took it to a local branch of BB&T bank to have it cashed.

McClure now faces charges of violation of oath by a public officer and theft by taking – both misdemeanor offenses.

Meanwhile, the woman he arrested faces three felony counts of obstruction of an officer and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, tampering with evidence, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, failure to yield entering roadway and possession of a drug-related object.

It’s unclear if McClure’s own arrest will impact her charges.

http://www.11alive.com/article/news/crime/north-ga-officer-charged-with-stealing-money-from-woman-he-arrested/85-520767285

Lawmaker cited for driving under the influence

 

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democratic Rep. Timm Ormsby of Spokane has been charged with driving under the influence after his Jeep ran off the road and rolled into a yard in Thurston County.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Ormsby, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was arraigned in Thurston County District Court Monday for the Saturday accident.

The citation filed with the court for Ormsby’s hearing says he had a blood alcohol content of at least .090 in an infrared scan and as high as .10 on the electrochemical scan of the Breathalyzer test. State law sets the limit for driving under the influence at .080.

In a written statement Tuesday, Ormsby apologized, writing that he “made a very poor choice this weekend.”

Ormsby, 58, wrote that he will “abide by whatever consequences I receive.”

The accident occurred at an intersection about three miles west of the city limits, near the area where he lives during the legislative session. According to a Thurston County sheriff’s investigation first reported by KXLY, Ormsby said he was distracted by a text message from his wife while turning onto the road, causing him to swerve and crash his Jeep.

The investigating deputy reported smelling a “heavy odor of alcohol” from the vehicle, and Ormsby said he had two 16 ounce beers while working on the state supplemental budget. He failed field sobriety tests before agreeing to take the breath test. After failing the breath test and being told his blood alcohol wouldn’t be that high from just two beers, he reportedly said he also had two 12 ounce beers in the afternoon before going to work.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said no decision has been made yet about whether Ormsby will lose his chairmanship.

“We take this very seriously,” Sullivan told the Spokesman-Review Tuesday. “We’ll have this conversation in our leadership team. It’s a group decision.”

The Legislature is currently in the midst of a 60-day legislative session scheduled to end March 8. Senate and House leaders are set to release their budget proposals in the coming weeks.

Middle school principal accused of drugged driving

BARRE, Vt. (AP) — Barre City’s middle school principal is facing a charge of driving under the influence or drugs.

Vermont State Police say Michael Dreiblatt of Manchester Center was arrested in Shaftsbury on Monday afternoon after being pulled over for a vehicle inspection violation. Police say he showed signs of impairment and they found a small amount of marijuana in his vehicle.

School Superintendent John Pandolfo said Tuesday afternoon that Dreiblatt is no longer working at the school. But would not elaborate, saying it’s a confidential personnel matter.

The 54-year-old Dreiblatt did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Bennington on March 26.

https://www.chron.com/news/crime/amp/Middle-school-principal-accused-of-drugged-driving-12611294.php

Man fined for drink-driving motorised cool box

A ride-on cooler

A man has been fined in New Zealand for driving under the influence of alcohol on a motorised cool box, it’s reported.

According to the Stuff.co.nz news website, Lani Hunt admitted drinking and driving after being stopped by police riding a motorised drink cooler.

Police stopped Mr Hunt after they spotted him driving the petrol-powered chilly bin down a road in North Island city of New Plymouth, the website reports.

He pleaded guilty at the New Plymouth District Court on 15 February and was fined NZ$500 (US$370; £263). He was given no driving disqualification for his antics.

Mr Hunt is not the first person to have been stopped by the police for being intoxicated while driving a ride-on cooler.

In August 2011, Christopher Petrie made national headlines in Australia after he was caught driving one under the influence without a licence. He was given a nine-month driving suspension and was fined AU$300 (US$240; £170).

Police in both Australia and New Zealand are urging people not to drive the coolers, which can reach speeds of 18mph (28kph) and are illegal on the roads in both countries.

After another incident in the town of Camden in New South Wales on Australia Day (26 January), police told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph that while the scooters may look fun, they’re too small to be seen by other road users.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-43072501

Lawmaker pleads guilty to drunk driving, weapon possession

State Rep. Francis “Chip” Baltimore, a Boone Republican who has pushed for legislation to keep drunken drivers off the roads, pleaded guilty Friday to driving while intoxicated in January, court records show.

Baltimore pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated and possession of a dangerous weapon while under the influence. In court documents, he admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol Jan. 19 in Ames, and while he was intoxicated, he had a weapon in his possession.

Prosecutors and Baltimore’s attorney have asked the judge to sentence the 51-year-old state representative to probation with the Center for Creative Justice for a year for each charge. He will also be fined a $1,250 civil penalty, must undergo substance abuse evaluation and will be required to complete a drinking and driving school.

Baltimore, a lawyer who was removed as chairman of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee after his arrest, told an Ames police officer he had been en route to his home in Boone after attending meetings in Des Moines, according to court records.

MORE: Baltimore plans to advertise his OWI arrest if he runs again

A police report stated Baltimore consented to a chemical breath test on a state certified device which registered his blood alcohol content at 0.147. The legal limit for operating while intoxicated is .08.

Baltimore was stopped by an Ames police officer shortly before 4 a.m. after authorities received a report of a reckless driver traveling northbound on Interstate Highway 35. The vehicle was described as operating at varying speeds and swerving in and out of its lane, according to the court documents.

The police report said Baltimore was driving a dark-colored 2014 Ford Explorer when an officer observed him traveling at about 55 mph in a 70 mph zone that was entering a 65 mph zone. He was pulled over by police near U.S. Highway 30 westbound and Dayton Ave.

The officer said Baltimore had slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes, slowed movements and admitted to drinking about three drinks with the last drink being three hours earlier, and his breath smelled of alcohol. The lawmaker stepped out of his vehicle and failed a walk and turn test, police said.

After Baltimore was placed under arrest for a first offense of operating while intoxicated, he admitted to an officer that he had a Smith & Wesson handgun under his driver’s seat.

Baltimore was able to produce a concealed carry permit issued by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and he was transported to the Story County Jail. Court records show that Baltimore was also cited for improper use of lanes.

Baltimore, who is an Oskaloosa native, is serving his fourth term in the Iowa House after initially winning election in 2010.

As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Baltimore presided over discussions on proposals to curb drunken driving. Two years ago, lawmakers began considering a bill to require people convicted of an alcohol-related offense, including driving while intoxicated, to check in at a law enforcement office twice a day and take a breath test. Those who tested positive for alcohol or some other drug would face immediate consequences, including being taken to jail.

The bill failed to win final approval in 2016, but last year a version of the proposal was passed by lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad. The program, however, will only be used in Iowa counties that volunteer to implement it.

Editorial: Lawmaker charged with OWI while possessing gun benefits from law he helped change

Numerous attempts have been made in recent years to require all people arrested for driving while intoxicated to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles. When a driver with alcohol on their breath blows into the device, the vehicle won’t start. The proposal, which is expected to be proposed again this year, has never made it the floor of both the Senate and House for debate.

In late 2016, Baltimore told the Register that he did not know of a lawmaker who was “pro-drunk driver.”

“I think there’s a big group of caring people who want to make sure we keep drunk drivers off the street,” he said at the time. “There’s just disagreement on how we are going to do that and who is going to pay for it.”

 

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2018/02/16/iowa-lawmaker-chip-baltimore-pleads-guilty-drunk-driving-possession-weapon-while-intoxicated/347223002/

Boys basketball coach resigns after OUI arrest

Bangor High School boys varsity basketball coach Carl Parker has left that post in the aftermath of his arrest for operating under the influence of intoxicants over the weekend.

The move came on the same day Bangor was to play at Windham in a Class AA North quarterfinal game. Jon McAllian, the Rams’ junior varsity coach, was set to handle the coaching duties for that game.

“If you screw up, you’ve got to own it,” said Parker in a telephone conversation early Tuesday afternoon after he had issued a letter of resignation to school officials. “Obviously I feel awful, but again you’ve got to take ownership of the things that you do. I’ve always been that way.”

Parker said he was returning to his Bangor home from a Class AA North coaches meeting in Lewiston on Saturday and was northbound on Interstate 95 in Etna when he attempted to pass another vehicle.

“I had drank,” he said. “I went to pass a car and hit black ice and away I went.”

Parker’s car came to rest on its passenger side along the side of the highway and he subsequently was taken into custody by the Maine State Police.

Parker said he was administered a blood-alcohol test in Bangor but did not pass.

The State Police confirmed Tuesday that Parker was arrested. Details about the circumstances of Parker’s arrest and his blood-alcohol level were not available Tuesday because the trooper was off duty until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

It is illegal in Maine to operate a vehicle if a person’s blood alcohol level is above .08 percent.

If convicted, Parker faces a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory 150-day license suspension. If his blood-alcohol level was .15 percent or above, he also must serve 48 hours in jail.

Parker said he notified school officials of the incident soon after he returned home Saturday.

“He self-reported the information in a timely fashion, he knew it was a serious matter that we’d have to address,” said Bangor High School principal Paul Butler.

“We confirmed everything on a reasonable timeline and with a thorough approach and decided that we needed to relieve him of coaching responsibilities,” Butler added. “I think Carl recognized that and followed up with a written resignation.”

That school’s decision was reached late Monday.

“It’s on me,” Parker said. “It’s not on anyone else and I’m sorry for the position I put the administration in. I really am.”

Parker, a longtime Bangor resident, was in the third season of his second stint as boys varsity basketball coach at Bangor High School.

His most recent teams had improved each season, with the Rams going from 5-13 in 2015-16 to 8-10 last winter and 9-9 this season good for a fifth-place finish in Class AA North.

Parker previously coached Bangor for two seasons during the mid-1980s, when his teams compiled a 23-13 record and advanced to the 1985 Eastern Maine Class A semifinals before school administrators opted not to renew his contract over two incidents when he was issued technical fouls during the 1984-85 season.

Parker’s coaching resume included subsequent varsity stops at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, where he also served as athletic administrator.

He also was an assistant coach with the former MCI postgraduate program and head coach of Lee Academy’s postgraduate team.

Parker also has been well known in coaching circles for his contributions to the state’s AAU basketball community, being one of its founders in Maine in 1991.

Parker coached numerous teams to AAU national tournament appearances, highlighted by his 17-and-under squads that earned 11th-place finishes at the AAU 11th-Grade National Championships in both 2007 and 2014.

Bangor boys basketball coach resigns after OUI arrest