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KPD: Man arrested in May drug-impaired crash

Staff report • Jan 12, 2017 at 9:53 AM

KINGSPORT — Eight months after veering into oncoming traffic on Stone Drive and striking two vehicles, a city man has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of multiple drugs and air duster.

Kingsport police report that Ty P. Phillips, 42, was indicted last week by a Sullivan County grand jury. He was taken into custody Wednesday at his Gravely Road home and jailed on charges of reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and failure to drive within lane.

The crash occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m. on May 5 in the 900 block of East Stone Drive. Kingsport police report that Phillips’ Mazda pickup was eastbound when he crossed the center turn lane into westbound traffic, striking a Chevrolet Tahoe that was pulling a trailer. The driver and sole occupant of the Chevrolet was not injured.

Phillips’ Mazda then hit a Saturn Vue in the front end. The Saturn careened off the Mazda and left the roadway, striking a fire hydrant before coming to rest in a ditch. The car’s driver and passenger sustained substantial injuries and were transported to Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center. According to KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton, the two victims were later released, but continue to be plagued by injuries sustained in the incident.

In the aftermath of the crash, Phillips was also transported to the hospital. He allegedly told an investigating officer that he “might have passed out” behind the wheel, while explaining that he was on prescribed medications.

The KPD says a blood sample was obtained and sent for testing, revealing that at the time of the wreck Phillips was under the influence of six prescription drugs including oxycodone. The test also allegedly returned positive for the chemical difluoroethane, a common ingredient in aerosol duster sprays that are often abused as inhalants.

As of Wednesday evening, Phillips remained held in the Sullivan County jail on $15,000 bond.

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