Police: Man turns himself in 13 hours after admittedly driving drunk, hitting 2 vehicles

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Friends of a man who was allegedly driving drunk reported him to police after he was seen driving on a sidewalk, ultimately leading to his arrest Sunday afternoon after he hit two vehicles.

Carson Bjelland booking photo, Washington County, Utah, June 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

St. George police were dispatched to a residential area near River Road after people called 911 to report that their friend Carson Bjelland, 20, of Hurricane, was “extremely drunk” and driving on a sidewalk, according to court documents filed in 5th District Court. Soon after his friends called and Bjelland had left the residence, police received another call that a large pickup truck had hit a parked vehicle.

According to the arresting officer’s written statement, Bjelland fled the scene in his truck after smashing into the parked vehicle.

Dispatch then received another phone call from one of Bjelland’s friends that his truck had been located near an elementary school. When the officer arrived, “he found that Carson had run into the back of one of his friend’s trucks.” The two passengers who were in the truck sustained minor back injuries. Bjelland then fled the scene on foot.

“Carsons’ truck was impounded and an open bottle of Bacardi rum was located in the center console, as well as Coors Light beer in the tool box on the back and several other empty bottles of liquor,” the arresting officer wrote.

Read more: Utah Legislature passes bill lowering DUI threshold to 0.05

Bjelland managed to hide from police before turning himself in Sunday afternoon. Police say he admitted to being drunk and driving 45-50 mph in a residential neighborhood – twice the posted speed limit. He also admitted to fleeing the scene and eventually crashing into his friend’s truck, who was driving in front of him and trying to slow him down.

Bjelland had consumed 12 Coors Light beers before getting in his truck and hitting the first vehicle.

He was charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving injury, accident involving property damage, open container and drinking of alcohol in a vehicle, driving under the influence, reckless driving, purchase and consumption of alcohol by a minor and obstruction of justice.

“Carson’s actions constitute obstruction of justice due to his attempts to avoid law enforcement and conceal the fact that he was intoxicated at the time of the crash by waiting long enough for evidence in his body to dissipate,” the officer wrote, adding that it was 13 hours before he turned himself in.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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