Rollover near Gorge leads to arrest of other driver who had ‘a lot to drink’

File photo: Rollover in the Virgin River Gorge, Interstate 15, May 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. — A driver rolled his vehicle off Interstate 15 early Wednesday morning and walked away uninjured. However, another driver who stopped at the crash site to offer assistance was taken to jail for suspicion of DUI.

Just after 3 a.m., emergency personnel were dispatched to an area near mile marker 25 on I-15 in Mohave County. Upon arrival, officers found a red four-door passenger car rolled off to the right of the road, with the driver waiting for officers nearby, Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Tom Callister said.

Officers determined that the man was traveling north through the Virgin River Gorge toward St. George, and as he came around a curve, he lost control of his vehicle and went careening off the shoulder of the interstate. The vehicle then rolled and finally came to rest several feet from the roadway, Callister said.

The man reported he was uninjured in the crash.

As the trooper and the driver waited for the tow truck to arrive, a gold Lexus pulled to the side of the interstate and stopped just ahead of the trooper’s patrol car, Callister said.

The man got out and started walking around the scene, he said. Then the man approached the driver of the rolled vehicle and started speaking with him, asking him if he needed assistance.

Callister said he approached the man and asked what he was doing at the scene, at which point he observed signs of possible intoxication, including slurred speech and an unsteady gait. The man told the trooper he was just there to help.

The trooper then asked how much the man had to drink, to which Callister said he replied: “Oh, I had a lot to drink, but I’m just here to offer you assistance.”

The trooper attempted to perform a field sobriety test on the man, but he refused and was arrested after failing the breathalyzer test.

“The preliminary results showed the man had a blood alcohol content of .143,” Callister said, “and when I told him he was under arrest he became angry.”

The man told to the trooper that he was only there to help and that since he was performing a good deed, he shouldn’t be arrested for driving drunk.

“He asked me how I could be arresting him when he only stopped to offer his help,” Callister said, “and any wrong deed should be cancelled out by his good deed.”

The man was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to the Mesquite City Jail where he was booked on suspicion of DUI.

“What started out as a typical accident turned into something entirely different,” the trooper said. “And it’s true (that) judgment is the first thing to go when alcohol is involved.”

The Arizona Highway Patrol, The St. George Fire Department, Beaver Dam/Littlefield responded to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or first responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Mean Momma October 27, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Man! Can’t even stop to help someone out these day!

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