Witnesses followed a woman deputies said was “clearly under the influence of some type of drugs” after she struck a pole at a gas station Wednesday, then described the frightening path she took to where she was stopped several miles away.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Deputy Reynaldo Rodriguez responded Wednesday to a call about a white van striking a metal pole at a convenience store at the intersection of Burkhalter Road and Ga. 67. A witness to the accident called the sheriff’s department while he followed the van, driven by Michelle Lindsey Taylor, 38, Hwy. 17 South, Millen.
The witness told deputies Taylor left the gas station and drove down Burkhalter Road, running a stop sign as she turned left onto Pretoria Rushing Road.
The witness said Taylor was “all over the road, driving on the shoulder of the roadway, in the ditch and in people’s yards,” reports stated.
Taylor then crossed over U.S. 80 East, into the Grove Lakes subdivision on Ellis Road. As Rodriguez approached the area, the witness informed sheriff’s dispatchers Taylor was on Circle Drive, then on U.S. 80, heading towards Statesboro, according to reports.
Rodriguez spotted Taylor at U.S. 80 near Ellis Road, with her flashers on. Her van was striking the curb with its tires, and he followed her with lights and siren, trying to pull her over, he said.
Taylor continued her haphazard drive, refusing to stop. Rodriguez then pulled next to her and used his PA system, ordering her to stop. When she did not, he used his patrol car to force Taylor’s van into the curb, bringing her to a halt near Lowe’s, he stated.
When Rodriguez approached Taylor, she was “clearly under the influence of some type of drugs,” he said in a report. He had to shift her van into park, then grab her to help her exit the van, as she could not manage it on her own. She was “unstable, unbalanced, and I had to hold on to her for her to stand,” he said.
Taylor was arrested for DUI – drugs, then taken to Bulloch County EMS for a blood test before being taken to the Bulloch County Jail to await bond. She was also charged with failure to maintain lane, driving with a suspended license, and striking a fixed object.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.