An Evansville woman says a man crashed into her vehicle, and less than an hour later, crashed into another.
That man was then arrested for DUI, but the woman tells us he should have been arrested after the first accident. So, why wasn't he?
That victim is 34-year-old Carrie Pirtle of Evansville.
We asked Pirtle if she believe the police failed to do their job in that situation.
"Yes, I do," she said.
Pirtle says she was driving near the intersection of Barker and Broadway Saturday night, when a car, driven by 29-year-old Delbert Teague, 't-boned' her car.
"Then he got out and walked back, asked if everybody was okay. He was slurring, he appeared to be intoxicated heavily," she said.
Pirtle says Teague proceeded to dump out trash from his car at a nearby gas station, where she says he remained until police arrived.
"The officer asked him, 'Have you been drinking?' and the guy said, 'No, I'm not drinking.' And the officer said, 'Are you on pills?' he said, 'No, I'm not on anything," Pirtle recalled.
According to a police report, Teague passed field sobriety tests and had a BAC of .00. So police, let him go.
Soon after, police say Teague wrecked again. This time, at the intersection of Ewing and Broadway.
"By 8:00 he had flipped his jeep," said Pirtle. "So it wasn't even an hour from the time the police officer let him go, until he flipped the jeep."
Pirtle says she went to the scene of the second accident and that Teague crashed into a parked car. She also told officers there, she believed Teague was still intoxicated from the first wreck.
This time, Teague still had a BAC of .00, but he failed field sobriety tests and was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
"The main thing is that he could've killed somebody after he hit us," said Pirtle. "And it was clear that he was intoxicated. He should've never left that scene, except for in the back of a police car."
Police responded to Sunday's allegations with two key words, 'probable cause.'
"Public opinion is one thing. Probable cause is something different," said Jason Cullum with Evansville Police Department. "The officer that was involved with the initial investigation, he's very well versed in the signs of impairment. I don't know what information he recovered when he got there that made him take the steps of doing the field sobriety test and the PBT. But according to his training and experience, the driver passed both."
So, Teague was allowed to leave. And a little over an hour later, Teague sideswiped and crashed into a couple of parked cars, near Ewing and Broadway.
"He sideswiped my brother's truck and knocked off the mirror. It has a scrape down the side. And then he hit my vehicle in the rear end, caused it to spin out, and then flipped his jeep," said Ashley Schneider.
"A drug recognition expert was actually called in on the second one. They did the same sobriety test. One of the tests, the person failed. It was still zeros on the PBT, so the drug recognition expert actually brought the person in for more thorough testing, " Cullum said.
Evansville Police say they had probable cause to believe Teague was intoxicated following the second crash, since he failed a field sobriety test.
Upon further investigation, police found out that Teague was under the influence of prescription pain killers. They say it's possible Teague wasn't feeling the drugs' effects until the second incident.
"There was enough time between the two incidents and the two sets of tests where pain killers could've been ingested and the effects could take hold. So, to say that because he had impairment after 8:00 that he didn't have before 7:00 doesn't indicate that we missed something on the first go around," Cullum said.
According to a police affidavit, Teague bonded out of jail on Saturday and faces one charge of driving while intoxicated.
Police say it isn't illegal to take medication and drive, as long as you do not become impaired.
They say they had no reason to believe he was impaired until the second accident on Saturday.
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