A suspected drunk driver found himself wrong side-up just east of downtown Van Alstyne in a single-vehicle accident on Saturday night.
At approximately 9:13 p.m. in the 1100 block of E. Jefferson, a 2001 Ford Ranger driven by a 27-year-old Van Alstyne man crashed, flipping over onto it’s roof and ejecting the driver through a side window. The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was transported via air ambulance to Medical Center of Plano with a serious head injury. As of Leader press time, the individual was still in the hospital.
Van Alstyne police believe the incident was alcohol related, according to Chief Tim Barnes. Police declined to name the driver as charges have not yet been filed but they are believed to be pending.
Police responded to six incidents and 233 calls for service over the seven-day reporting period.
At 12:49 a.m. on June 22, VAPD officers responded to a reckless driver call at S. Waco and Cooper. The driver was pulled over and issued a field sobriety test resulting in his arrest on a misdemeanor B driving while intoxicated charge. The driver was identified as Salvador Heuete, 21, of Van Alstyne.
At 7:43 a.m. police responded to their second reckless driver call of the day, this one on northbound U.S. Hwy. 75. The driver, identified as Christopher Johnson, 42, of Forney, was found to be intoxicated and arrested on a misdemeanor B driving while intoxicated charge.
In this instance, the passenger was also arrested. Barnes stated that the passenger in the vehicle, Scott Fothergill, 44, of Murphy, was arrested for public intoxication and failure to identify/giving false information to a police officer. Fothergill was arrested on a misdemeanor B charge for the false ID and a misdemeanor C charge for public intoxication.
With the Fourth of July quickly approaching VAPD Chief Barnes issued a reminder to exercise extra caution on the holiday weekend.
“As always, we want everyone to enjoy July Fourth but be responsible, don’t drink and drive or you will go to jail,” said Barnes, who pointed out that the department does do blood draws on suspected intoxicated drivers.
Barnes cautioned that there will be increased travel on the roadways over the Independence Day weekend and that, as it does every year, the VAPD will be increasing patrols.
“Other agencies in the area are also increasing patrols. We want everyone to have a great Fourth of July but be responsible in their actions,” said Barnes.
“Also, just a reminder that it is illegal to set fireworks off in the city limits,” he added. “Safety is of the utmost importance; even though we’ve had some rain lately it’s still relatively dry.”
Shooting off fireworks inside city limits is punishable by fines and, as Barnes pointed out, could result in the loss of homes. For those wanting to see fireworks the city is hosting a show at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 4, at the Van Alstyne High School. It is free and open to the public.