KPD: Passed out motorist arrested on drug charges

Rain Smith • May 3, 2013 at 1:32 PM

A Kingsport motorist has been arrested after he was allegedly found passed out behind the wheel at a Fort Henry Drive intersection and was startled awake by police, eliciting a "scream" and panicked punch of his accelerator.

When his car moved forward it nearly hit one officer, according to a police report, and narrowly missed striking a second's parked cruiser. John L. Saylor, 43, of 465 Minga Road, faces drug and other charges in the incident.

According to an arrest report, another motorist alerted Kingsport police to the sleeping driver at approximately 11:50 Monday night. They said he was slumped over the steering wheel of a Ford Taurus at the intersection of Fort Henry Drive and Lebanon Road, failing to proceed through the intersection when the traffic signal turned green.

Police say they responded to find Saylor, "slumped down in the seat." An officer reports that after knocking on the car's window several times he, "eventually awoke, looked at me, screamed and then proceeded to drive forward."

When Saylor accelerated he allegedly came "very close" to striking the officer who had been knocking on his window, and nearly hit another officer's parked patrol car.

When asked to step from his vehicle Saylor reportedly had trouble exiting and struggled to maintain his balance. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests, according to police, Saylor said he had taken one pill of his prescription medication prior to driving.

Police say an unlabeled pill bottle was located in Saylor's pocket. It allegedly contained what is believed to be three OxyContin, two Subutex and one Xanax. They were placed into evidence to be sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lab for testing and identification.

Saylor was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, possession of schedule I, II and IV drugs and driving on a revoked license. He was transported to Indian Path Medical Center for a blood draw and then booked into the city jail.

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