BUCKHANNON — A woman was arrested Tuesday night after a head-on collision on Kanawha Hill sent three people to the hospital.
According to police chief Matt Gregory with the Buckhannon Police Department, Brandi Morris, 33, of Buckhannon was traveling north down Route 20, just before Boggess Street, when she crossed into the southbound lane and hit another vehicle head-on at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.
The driver of the second vehicle, Michael Shaffer, 46, of Buckhannon was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital by ambulance, as Healthnet was grounded due to weather, Gregory said. An 8-year-old child in Morris’s vehicle was also taken to Ruby, according to Gregory, while Morris was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Morris was arrested for narcotic DUI with an unemancipated minor — i.e. a child under 16 years old — and cited for no insurance and no operators, Gregory told My Buckhannon. Once released from the hospital Wednesday morning, she was transported to Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
“It’s still early in the investigation as we do anticipate there may be additional charges,” Gregory said. As of early Wednesday evening, the accident report had not been released because the incident remains under investigation, according to the police chief.
The criminal complaint filed early Wednesday morning by investigating officer Darin Hissam with the Buckhannon Police Department indicated Morris was so impaired Hissam felt he was unable to administer standard field sobriety tests.
Morris had been driving a 2010 Subaru Legacy when he struck Shaffer, who was driving a 2005 Porsche Cayenne. According to the report, when Hissam approached Morris, he noticed her eyes were bloodshot, dilated and glassy.
“Her movements were very erratic and exaggerated,” Hissam wrote in the complaint. “Her speech was rapid and nonsensical. When asked questions she would ramble with nonsensical sayings without answering the question asked.”
“Field sobriety [tests] were not attempted due to [Morris’s] disoriented condition and inability to respond coherently to simple conversation,” Hissam’s report continues.
In addition to the BPD, the Buckhannon Fire Department and Upshur EMS responded to the scene.
If convicted of DUI with a minor, Morris faces a penalty of not less than two days nor more than 12 months in jail and a fine ranging between $200 and $1,000.