Phillip Brian Manis, 51, 317 Williams Road, Surgoinsville, was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court on charges including two counts of felony reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon (the pickup), reckless aggravated assault, DUI eighth offense, driving on a revoked license ninth offense, open alcohol container, seatbelt violation, failure to maintain due care, no insurance, registration violation, driving left of center and improper lane usage.
The single-vehicle wreck occurred on March 19 around 3 p.m. on Route 70-N near the Perry Smith Lane intersection north of Rogersville.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Dylan Reid stated in his report that a southbound 1991 GMC 2500 pickup driven by Manis crossed the center line, almost striking a pedestrian in a parking lot.
Manis then brought the pickup back onto the roadway, nearly striking an oncoming vehicle head-on.
“Mr. Manis exited the right side of the roadway, striking two mailboxes, then driving into a ditch where a standing bush was struck,” Reid said. “Mr. Manis continued on and struck a smaller standing tree, and then hit a larger tree head-on, where the vehicle came to rest.”
Manis and his passenger, 61-year-old George Atkins, received “incapacitating” injuries. Reid said Manis smelled strongly of alcohol at the crash scene, and Reid allegedly found four opened liquor bottles inside the cab of the truck.
While being interviewed by Reid at the hospital, Manis initially stated he didn’t recall being in a crash.
Later Manis reportedly stated he was a passenger in the pickup.
Atkins and other witnesses told Reid, however, that Manis was the driver.
Manis has DUI and driving on revoked convictions dating back to 1987.
As of Wednesday, Manis remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $50,000 bond pending an appearance in Sessions Court set for April 9.