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Wrong-way driver nearly ran down Johnson City officers as they worked DUI crash, police say

Becky Campbell • Updated Jan 6, 2017 at 6:01 PM

Maybe they don't have one-way streets in Texas, but a Texas man found out the hard way about one such road in Johnson City.

Police officers had responded to a man slumped over his steering wheel with the vehicle's engine running at East Holston Avenue and Hale Street shortly after 2 a.m.

When Officer Brandon Carr arrived, he tapped on the man's window several times before getting a response from him. When he woke up, he took one look at the officer and sped away, according to a police report on the incident.

Carr pursued the vehicle on East Unaka, but the driver — who police identified as Daniel Pinette, 28, 2719 S. Roan St. — wouldn't stop and was driving "all over the road." The report said the car went up on the curb near Baxter Street, re-entered the road and continued down East Unaka.

It didn't make it far, however; the report said the driver swerved to the left after going under the Interstate 26 bridge and hit a light pole and street light control box at the corner of East Unaka and Elm Street.

In his report, Carr wrote that he immediately detained Pinette and began an investigation into his suspicions that Pinette was intoxicated. Police said Pinette was unsteady on his feet and obviously impaired. Searching Pinette, police reported finding a .22-caliber handgun, 12 grams of crystal methamphetamine and five unidentifiable pills.

As officers were working the DUI case and crash, they saw a vehicle driving toward them the wrong way up Elm Street, which is a one-way street.

Capt. Brian Rice tried to flag the vehicle down, but the driver kept going and came very close to the officer and continued toward the crash scene where other officers and a tow truck driver were located, according to police reports.

Officers were able to get the car stopped and made contact with the driver, Donald Ray Marshall, of Angelina, Texas. Police said Marshall had the “odor of an alcoholic beverage” and failed sobriety tests at the scene. Marshall told officers he had drank "a few" drinks earlier in the evening and was confused about why he had been stopped.

When officers searched Marshall's vehicle, they found three empty 32-ounce beer cans in the passenger-side floorboard. Marshall told officers the cans were old. Police said Marshall performed field sobriety tests poorly and refused a blood test. He was arrested about 3 a.m.

Pinette was charged with driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, felony evading arrest, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of a handgun in the commission of a dangerous felony, and failure to exercise due care. He was set to be booked into the Washington County Detention Center on $27,000 bond.

Marshall was charged with driving under the influence, going the wrong way on a one-way street, reckless endangerment and violation of the implied consent law. He was held in the Detention Center on $11,000 bond.

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Reported earlier:

Johnson City police officers were nearly struck by a drunken, wrong-way driver early Friday morning as they worked a crash that also involved an impaired driver, as well as a gun, pills and meth, police said.

About 2 a.m., police were sent to check on the welfare of a man passed out at the wheel of a vehicle. After police spoke with Daniel Pinette, 28, 2719 S. Roan St., he sped off briefly before crashing at the intersection of East Unaka Avenue and Elm Street. Police said Pinette was unsteady on his feet and obviously impaired. Searching Pinette, police found a .22 caliber handgun, 12 grams of crystal methamphetamine and five unidentifiable pills.

As they worked that incident, another driver came down the one-way street the wrong way, nearly striking the officers, police said. Police stopped vehicle and identified the driver as an Angelina, Texas, man, Donald Ray Marshall.

Police said Marshall had the “odor of an alcoholic beverage” and failed sobriety tests at the scene. He was arrested about 3 a.m.

Pinette was charged with driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, felony evading arrest, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of a handgun in the commission of dangerous felony, and failure to exercise due care. He was set to be booked into the Washington County Detention Center on $27,000 bond.

Marshall was charged with driving under the influence, going the wrong way on a one-street, reckless endangerment and violation of the implied consent law. He was held in the Detention Center on $11,000 bond.

Both men were set to appear in Sessions Court later Friday.

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