Bluffton police: Drunken driver slams cruiser as officer responds to crash

astice@islandpacket.comFebruary 14, 2013 

Coty White

A driver suspected of being drunk struck a parked police car early Thursday as the officer was outside directing traffic away from a crash on Bluffton Parkway, according to police.

Officer Brady Lee was leading traffic down the road from a flipped vehicle, in which the driver was trapped, at about 2:30 a.m. when Coty White of Bluffton hit his patrol car and continued driving, a Bluffton Police Department news release said.

Officers working the single-car wreck near the Pinecrest subdivision stopped White as he drove toward them, and troopers with the S.C. Highway Patrol were called to arrest him, Bluffton Lt. Joe Babkiewicz said.

White has been charged with drunken driving, driving under suspension, hit and run with property damage, operating uninsured and open container. He is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center with bail set at $11,597.50.

Babkiewicz said reports about the single-car wreck have been delayed because officers had to address the crash into the patrol car.

The overturned vehicle struck a curb and several trees in the median, trapping the unidentified driver, Babkiewicz said. Rescue crews from the Bluffton Township Fire District and Beaufort County EMS worked for about 15 minutes to remove the driver, who was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah by ambulance with minor injuries.

The crash closed Bluffton Parkway for about an hour as crews cleaned up the scene, according to the fire district.

Babkiewicz said the single-car crash is under investigation.

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