OKEECHOBEE — After a traffic crash in the southwest section of town, a man was charged with DUI with property damage. On Tuesday morning, March 2, City Police Officer Ryan Holroyd responded to the scene of the accident at the corner of Southwest Fourth Street and Third Avenue. When he arrived, he found a black 2019 Chrysler 300 and a gray 2015 Ford Escape. He estimated each vehicle had about $10,000 in damage.
According to Holroyd’s report, he spoke with the driver of the Chrysler, later identified as Jaden Billie, age 20. Billie told him he had been driving southbound and stopped at the stop sign before proceeding into the intersection and being hit by the other vehicle. Billie’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred. Holroyd noted there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from him, and he was unsteady on his feet.
The driver of the other vehicle was interviewed but only remembered being in an accident, not the circumstances of the accident. He spoke to paramedics on the scene but five minutes later, he did not remember speaking to them. He was transported by ambulance to Raulerson Hospital.
Because the second driver did not have a stop sign for his direction of travel, Holroyd determined Billie was at fault and had not stopped at the stop sign or had proceeded without yielding right of way.
A witness came forward and told Holroyd she saw a woman get out of Billie’s vehicle and leave the area on foot before officers arrived. Officer Brandi Drapal was able to locate the woman in the 400 block of Southwest Second Avenue. The woman reportedly told her she was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident and left because she panicked. Drapal noted the woman was unsteady on her feet and smelled of alcohol. Drapal located a bottle of whiskey in a nearby trash can.
Billie was arrested and transported to the county jail. His breath test results were reportedly 0.217 and 0.210. His bond was set at $1,000.