Shortly before the end of the school day Wednesday Church Hill police were dispatched to an 18-wheel tractor trailer that had parked at the intersection of Tipton Avenue and Volunteer Street just outside of the Volunteer High School campus.
Tipton Avenue is one of main access roads for school buses and other vehicles going to and from the school. It's also where police block eastbound Highway 11-W traffic to allow buses and vehicles exiting school in the afternoon a safe turn onto the highway.
The driver, Larry Wayne Jones, 41, 2033 Flanders Street, Kingsport, was allegedly found passed out in the front seat of the truck around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
CHPD Detective Kevin Grigsby and VHS SRO Tony Spitzer were able to wake Jones up.
Jones reportedly had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and he was unaware of his location or what time of day it was.
"(Jones) stated he had been taking Lortab the night before and had just dropped a female passenger off whose family lived in the area, and was unaware he was blocking the entrance to the school," Grigsby said. "(Jones) consented to a search of his vehicle and contents for narcotics, and allowed me to search his phone which kept ringing. I observed numerous drug dealing type messages on his phone."
Grigsby administered a series of field sobriety tests which Jones was allegedly too impaired to complete. Jones was then arrested for DUI.
Grigsby added, "After his arrest I then conducted a search of his person, and a film container was located in his left front pocket that contained four crystal rocks that are believed to be meth. The estimated weight of these rocks is believed to exceed a half gram."
A log book indicated Jones made a trip to North Carolina and back Tuesday, and the trailer was empty.
Aside from his alleged admission about taking Lortab, Jones also allegedly admitted he had been smoking meth prior being confronted by police.
During a search of the cab Grigsby allegedly found a syringe, a glass pipe with burnt crystal residue, and two butane torches.
Jones refused to consent to a blood test.
He was charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a Drug Free Zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI, and violation of implied consent law.
As of Friday Jones remained held in the Hawkins County Jail wit no bond set. He is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court.