A Newborn man was arrested and charged with DUI after striking a bus for children with special needs.
Officers from the Covington Police Department responded to the area of Conyers Street where it intersects with Church Street, and while en route dispatch informed them that one of the vehicles involved was fleeing the scene west toward Monticello and Emory streets.
After ensuring no children were injured the officers began to speak with witnesses to the incident who reportedly told the officers that a man driving a black Toyota truck struck the bus and fled. Another witness allegedly told officers that the truck seemed to be on fire when it left and was "smoking heavily from its hood."
Officers began canvassing the area in search of the truck and they were informed by dispatch that a concerned citizen had called about a truck matching the description parked on Laurel Drive, and when officers arrived, they found the truck in question with extensive front end damage and steam rising from the radiator.
The driver, identified as 27-year-old Jeffrey Brent Ray, was standing outside of the truck, and he reportedly identified himself as the owner and the driver of the vehicle. During questioning Ray allegedly told the officers that he had just been involved in an accident and reportedly said that he was driving in town when he hit a school bus.
He also allegedly admitted to leaving the scene and heading to the address he was at on Laurel Drive, which was his aunt’s house. He reportedly said that he did this because he was scared since he had drunk a half bottle of unknown liquor that was still in his truck and prior to that had been "drinking Evan Williams whisky all day."
While, speaking with him officers reportedly noticed that he was unable to stand up straight and that he was slurring his words. He had to have the same questions asked repeatedly because, according to reports, his eyes answers were difficult to understand and his eyes were droopy and glazed over. Ray reportedly gave officers consent to search his truck and inside the located a half full bottle of Ezra Brooks whisky.
Ray was unable to follow the officer’s finger with his eyes, according to reports and when asked why he would not follow the officer’s fingertip he allegedly said that it was because he was "too drunk."
During the walk and turn exercise Ray reportedly started repeatedly during the instructions and then allegedly told officers he was too drunk to perform that test as well. He would not attempt to do the one-leg stand and when asked if he though he was an unsafe driver due to his alcohol consumption he reported said "yeah, I couldn’t miss a bus."
Ray was arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center where he was charged with DUI per se, DUI less safe, leaving the scene of an accident (damage to vehicle), open container and failure to yield right of way (intersection).