Crime & Public Safety

Tennessee woman charged with DUI, child endangerment after Hilton Head crash, police say

A 35-year-old Brentwood, Tennessee, woman was arrested Thursday and accused of causing a two-vehicle collision on Hilton Head Island and then continuing to drive with her child in the back seat, a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report said.

The woman faces charges of child endangerment and fourth or subsequent offense of driving under the influence less than .10%, according to Beaufort County court documents.

Around 4:20 p.m., deputies responded to a crash at Marshland Road and Sol Blatt Jr. Parkway.

A Hilton Head man involved in the collision said he was passing through the intersection when a silver car ran through a stop sign and pulled out in front of him, causing the front of his car to collide with the rear passenger side of the other car, the report said.

The other driver never stopped, the man and a witness said.

A half-hour after the collision, someone reported a woman driving a car matching the description of the one that left the scene and who appeared to be “intoxicated and driving erratically” in Spanish Wells Plantation, the report said.

The responding deputy saw a car stopped on the wrong side of the road that had “heavy body damage to the front bumper (hanging off and dragging) and the passenger side rear consistent with the collision scene,” he wrote in the report.

Deputies later discovered the woman’s 5-year-old son sitting in a car seat in the back with the side airbags deployed.

The woman initially denied being involved in a car crash, saying her car was “purchased that way,” but later admitted she had struck something “but had no idea where or when it occurred,” according to the report.

When a deputy told her that he believed she may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the woman told him she takes multiple prescription medications, at least one of which could cause dizziness and blurred vision, the report said.

The woman failed a battery of sobriety tests, but registered 0.0% on the Breathalyzer. She declined to provide blood or urine samples for testing.

She was taken to Hilton Head Hospital for examination before being transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center, where she was booked at just after midnight Friday and released around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the jail log shows. Her total bond was $15,000, court documents say.

The child was released into his father’s custody.

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Lana Ferguson has reported on a smorgasbord of news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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