VINTON — A car flipped upside down after running off the road in Vinton around 4 p.m. Saturday, sending two individuals into medical care and leaving the driver charged with three crimes.
According to Ohio State Highway Patrol reports, the call for the crash came in 4:16 p.m. Troopers responded to the scene of the crash around 4:30 p.m. near the Vinton Post Office, roughly 0.2 miles west of State Route 160 mile post marker 15.
A bystander called 911 after finding an overturned 1998 Saturn sedan and two individuals inside. A Vinton man, 36, and a Vinton woman, 38, were found inside the vehicle. According to Gallia County 911 dispatch records, a man on-scene was advised by 911 dispatchers to cut the belt of the trapped woman inside when he reported she was not breathing and turning blue. She was pulled out of the car and supposedly going into convulsions.The woman was then stabilized, alert and breathing. She was taken by EMS to Holzer Medical Center on Jackson Pike before being flown by chopper to Cabell Huntington Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the car sustained no injuries, according to reports. The car suffered heavy damage to its front bumper, hood and both fenders. The windshield was shattered and both doors to the vehicle were bent. Airbags were deployed.
The driver initially refused EMS service, but after further observation by an officer, EMS was called in when the driver fainted, according to 911 dispatch reports.
OSHP cited the driver for failure to control a vehicle, driving under suspension of license and for operating a vehicle while impaired. Records say he allegedly had droopy eyelids, an inability to stay awake, an inability to maintain balance, slow speech and the odor of an alcoholic beverage about him.
Allegedly, the driver told troopers the car belonged to the passenger’s boyfriend. He gave a blood sample for a drug tests and as of press time the results of that test are unknown. According to reports, the driver allegedly admitted to having had a beer earlier in the day as well as taking prescribed Vicodin for medical conditions. He allegedly told troopers that while driving from Ewington, the passenger went into convulsions, fell over and hit the steering wheel, and blocked driving efforts. Reports said the driver grabbed the wheel to correct and drove left of center before hitting a light pole, snapping it in two and flipping over a “No Parking” sign.
The vehicle was heading southbound on State Route 160 before the crash occurred.
Sgt. Jake Schuldt, of OSHP Post 396, said the public should be aware that despite having a legal prescription for a drug, if it impaired one’s driving, it was possible for said person to still be charged with an OVI violation. He recommended that individuals on such medications keep that in mind and not endanger lives by driving while medicated.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.