Kingsport DUI suspect allegedly takes out mailboxes, guardrail before ditching car, blaming wife

Rain Smith • Apr 8, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A Kingsport man -- whose licence had been restricted due to past DUI convictions -- was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly crashing through nine mailboxes and a guardrail, then ditching his car.

Terry Light 46, of 108 Marietta St., has been charged with driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. He allegedly sent his wife to the scene of his second wreck to retrieve his vehicle, then told police she was behind the wheel the entire time.

According to reports at the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to the area of Bloomingdale Road at about 11:10 p.m. Central dispatch had received "several complaints" of a blue Dodge Dynasty traveling in a dangerous and erratic manner.

At least three witnesses reported seeing the car try to flee the scene of a wreck at 1508 Bloomingdale Road. According to the report, the car had "impacted severely with a guardrail and several mailboxes," later tallied at nine or more.

Witnesses told the deputy that the car had difficulty moving due to the impact with the line of mailboxes and metal guardrail. It eventually, "was able to get free from the rail," according to the report, then sped off in an "erratic pattern" towards John B. Dennis Highway.

The deputy reports that as he searched the area of 1500 Bloomingdale Road, a constable in the reported a wreck near the corner of Brooklawn Drive and Bloomingdale. The deputy responded to find a blue Dodge Dynasty stuck in a deep ditch line, with the lights on and doors locked.

While no driver was present, the deputy observed heavy front end damage to the car, consistent with a recent significant impact.

A check of the tags revealed the owner to be Light. While on the scene of the second wreck, a vehicle pulled in behind the deputy. A woman exited, advising she was Light's wife.

According to the report, Mrs. Light reported that her husband had called her via cell phone, saying he'd been in a wreck. He allegedly told her, "he had tried to avoid some 'kids' and lost control of his vehicle."

Light then asked his wife to come pick him up at Brooklawn Drive and call a tow truck. The deputy reports Mrs. Light was "reluctant" to report on whether her husband had been drinking. She did allegedly state that he had a license restriction that allowed him to drive only to and from work, due to past DUI convictions.

Mrs. Light said she'd taken her husband back to their home on Marietta Street. Deputies responded to find him possibly under the influence of alcohol, "due to his demeanor and behavior and odor of it emanating from Mr. Light's person."

"Mr. Light said he had not been drinking and it was his wife who had been driving," reads a court affidavit.

Light later admitted to driving the car, allegedly stating he'd lost control, "in an effort to avoid some 'kids.'" He also admitted to drinking one beer at his mother's home in Model City Apartments, according to the affidavit.

Light was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. Before transportation to the Sullivan County Jail he submitted a blood alcohol sample at Indian Path Medical Center.

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