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Deputy on foot evades skidding truck, makes DUI arrest

John Thompson • Jul 23, 2018 at 9:03 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A Carter County deputy working traffic at the scene of a wreck on State Line Road early Friday evening said he had to take evasive action to avoid being struck by a red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

Joseph C. Stout, 64, 344 Heaton Road, Apt. 6, was arrested on a second offense of driving under the influence and possession of schedule III and schedule IV drugs.

Lt. Larry Vaughn of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department was diverting traffic at the scene of a crash near the intersection of State Line Road and Blue Ridge Drive. He said he noticed Stout’s red truck approaching him “at what I felt was a high rate of speed.”

He said a car in front of the truck was turning right onto Blue Ridge Drive and the truck began to skid.

“I took evasive action to avoid being struck by the truck,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn said the car turned out of the way of the truck and then continued to skid until it was within 10 feet of his cruiser’s rear bumper.

When the truck came to a stop, Vaughn said he immediately went to it and he tried to speak to the driver. Vaughn said the driver suddenly put the truck into reverse and began backing into oncoming traffic.

Vaughn said he gave “multiple verbal commands” to get the driver to put the truck into park. Vaughn then reached into the cab through the driver’s side window while it was in motion.

Vaughn said the driver did not appear to be able to comply with, or understand, his commands. Even so, Vaughn was able to put the truck into park and turn off the ignition.

He then began speaking with the driver, who was identified as Stout. Vaughn said he had an odor of alcohol on his breath.

Vaughn said he also noticed Stout’s truck had a flat right front tire and fresh damage to the front end of the truck, along the right side and the rear bumper. The truck was also covered with fresh mud and grass hanging from the undercarriage.

When Vaughn asked Stout about the damage to the truck, he said Stout seemed confused about the damage and did not seem to know when it happened.

Vaughn said Stout told him he had taken a Lortab and had consumed “a beer or two.”

Deputy Spencer Rhea said he searched the truck and found two pill bottles, one containing peach pills and the other green pills. He said there was also a bottle of vodka and six 25-ounce unopened cans of Bud Light Clamato.

Stout made his first appearance in Sessions Court on Monday. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. set his bond at $3,000 and ordered him to be back in court Aug. 13 with his attorney.

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