Driver arrested after pickup goes airborne, crashes through concrete wall on Dixie Drive

ST. GEORGE — A driver who fled the scene after his pickup truck crashed through a block wall and rolled Wednesday was later located and arrested for DUI.

Tristen E. Lewis booking photo, March 12, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The incident began when officers responded to a crash initially reported with injuries in the area of 415 S. Dixie Drive near the House of Jump indoor trampoline park.

Officers arrived on scene to find the pickup overturned on its side several feet below the roadway in the Sunbrook Storage parking lot, where it had hit at least two RVs before coming to a stop.

According to the officer’s report, EMS and St. George Fire Department personnel said that they had spoken with the driver, later identified as 21-year-old Tristen Lewis, but that he “ran away from the truck” minutes after the crash and was last seen running north behind the business and was shirtless.

EMS told police they could smell alcohol while speaking to the suspect just before he ran off.

During a canvass of the area officers located “an adult shirtless male staggering through a field behind the House of Jump,” the officer wrote, and when told to stop, the suspect continued walking away.

Ford pickup truck crashes through concrete wall before landing upside-down off of Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, March 11, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Debbie Macari, St. George News

The officer called him by name and told him to stop a second time, at which point the suspect turned to look at the officer and again continued walking north.

When the officer advised the suspect that force would be used if refused to stop, Lewis was taken into custody without further incident.

While speaking with the suspect, officers said they could smell a “very strong” odor of alcohol coming from Lewis and that his speech was “extremely” slurred when he told them he had been drinking Bacardi rum since about midday and was returning home when the crash occurred.

While Lewis told police he could not remember why he rolled his truck, it appeared that both speed and failure to maintain his lane of travel caused the crash after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

During a subsequent field sobriety test, officers noted that the suspect demonstrated all six indicators for impairment.

After the suspect failed a number of other field tests, he was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on third-degree felony failing to stop at an officer’s command and three misdemeanors, including DUI, accident involving property damage and careless driving.

The felony charge was reduced to a class A misdemeanor once the proposed charges were reviewed Thursday by the Washington County Attorney’s Office, according to charging documents filed with the court.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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