Man blames deer for alcohol-fueled wreck, report says

JONESBORO, Ark. – A man said he swerved to miss a deer but Craighead County authorities suspect he ended up in a ditch for a different reason over the weekend.

At about 2:45 a.m. Dec. 31, Craighead County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Brock McFarlin was driving west on County Road 702, near County Road 701, when a vehicle was spotted in a ditch. The driver, Eric G. Gilson, 36, of Jonesboro advised he was okay and that a deer had run in front of him, causing him to serve to miss the creature.

However, the deputy noticed the vehicle had left the road in the lead up to where it returned to the road, crossed it, and then ended up in a ditch, the report says.

The man was able to get out of the vehicle but couldn’t stand up straight without assistance. The deputy noticed the man gave off a “strong odor of intoxicants,” with watery and bloodshot eyes as well. Gilson said he was driving to his house off of Southwest Drive from Paragould.

After taking a portable breath test, Gilson blew a .30.

During a field sobriety test, he fell backwards from a standing position – then told the law enforcement officer he did not want to take anymore tests.

He was arrested and taken to Craighead County Detention Center, where he blew a .29.

He was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, failure to register vehicle, no liability insurance, and fictitious vehicle tags.


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