BRISTOL, Tenn. — A Tennessee man flipped his truck five times on an interstate last weekend after he said “Jesus was calling him and advised him to let go of the wheel,” according to law enforcement officials.
Chad O. England, 33, of Maryville, faces multiple drug and traffic charges stemming from the crash, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.
Tennessee Highway Patrol officials told the Herald Courier that witnesses to the crash, which occurred around 10 a.m. Saturday, told investigators that England was speeding on Interstate 81 in Sullivan County when, for no apparent reason, his 2015 Toyota Tacoma left the roadway on the right. The truck flipped five times before striking a rock wall on the side of the interstate.
Responding sheriff's deputies told a trooper who arrived on the scene that England then had "taken off running, carrying a jar and speaking 'gibberish," according to a Highway Patrol report obtained by the newspaper. The deputies caught him and put him in the back of a patrol car until the trooper got to the scene, the report said.
England told the trooper he closed his eyes and let go of the steering wheel just before the crash.
"He said that Jesus was calling him and advised him to let go of the wheel, and that's what he did," the report said.
About the allegations that he was fleeing the crash site, England “stated that he did not take off running, he was ‘being called and was traveling to bow before someone.’”
WVLT-TV in Knoxville reported that troopers said they found in England's truck 6 grams of marijuana, just over ½ a gram of cocaine, a pipe, rolling papers, a nearly empty bottle of Crown Royal whiskey, another, smaller empty Crown Royal bottle and aerosol cans used for "huffing."
The news station listed his criminal charges as DUI first offense, felony possession of schedule II drugs for resale, possession of schedule VI drugs, possession of paraphernalia, open container, no driver's license in possession, failure to exercise due care, no registration in possession, violation of implied consent and no insurance in possession.
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