Passed Out Driver Crashes Truck Into County Yard

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Statewide, officers made 36 percent fewer DUI arrests over the holiday weekend, with extreme DUIs down nearly 40 percent. In Payson, officers made five DUI arrests, but had zero DUI arrests on Memorial Day.

Matthew L. Anderson, 50, was arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher and possession of drug paraphernalia Sunday after he reportedly passed out while driving his truck.

His white pickup was sent flying into the fence at the Gila County Maintenance Yard, said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.

Anderson was arrested after a Gila County Sheriff’s deputy noticed something was out of place. As the deputy was driving on Highway 260, he spotted Anderson’s white pickup crashed into the maintenance yard’s chain link fence around 2:20 p.m., Engler said.

When the deputy stopped, he could see Anderson passed out in the driver’s seat. The deputy called the Payson Police Department, who has jurisdiction in Star Valley, to report the accident.

The PPD sent an officer out who gave Anderson a field sobriety test and then arrested him for driving under the influence.

On Monday, the Payson police conducted a traffic watch from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., which resulted in 19 additional citations and 13 warnings.

The watch was sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety through a grant for local law enforcement to provide additional traffic enforcement during holiday weekends. During that time, officers made contact with 32 drivers, resulting in a misdemeanor arrest, 19 citations and 13 warnings. Violations ranged from red light running, stop sign violations, use of private property to avoid a traffic control device, speeding, no current registration, no proof of insurance, no driver’s license, unsafe lane usage, failure to stop from an emerging driveway, and improper use of 2-way left turn lane.

During this time, no drivers were arrested for DUI, however from Friday through Sunday five drivers were arrested for DUI with two of those for extreme DUI, with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher.

Statewide, the DUI task force made 207 DUI arrests over the weekend with 52 of those for extreme DUI.

This is the lowest number of DUI arrests in the past four years, with 2007 having the highest number of arrests with 447, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported.

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