A Sparta man tried to cover up a drunken driving crash Saturday morning by pouring water on the road to make it look like black ice caused it, police said.
Brian J. Byers was arrested by police several hours after he allegedly drove a 2001 black BMW into a guard rail after blowing through a stop sign near the intersection of Woodport and Sawmill roads, police said. The friend that brought him back to the scene of the accident also was arrested on drunken driving charges, Sgt. Dennis Proctor said in a news release.
After Byers crashed, he allegedly drove the damaged car back to his nearby home before returning to the scene in the friend's car.
Unfortunately for Byers, an officer on patrol at about 2:45 a.m. saw him walking in the intersection of Sawmill Road after he apparently tossed out the water onto the road, police said.
When the officer approached in the car, Byers had returned to the friend's vehicle. The officer also saw two, five-gallon buckets in the back, each of which still had some water inside. It's not clear how many trips back and forth the two made to fill the buckets, police said.
Byers was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, careless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident and disorderly conduct. The last charge was for creating a dangerous condition by purposely icing the intersection, Proctor said.
His companion, Alexander Zambenedetti, 20, of Sparta was charged with drunken driving. Zambenedetti was not wearing a shirt even though wind chills that morning were about -15, police added.
Police said the town's public works department had to apply a half-ton of salt to the road to make it safe for driving.
Both men are due in court Thursday morning.
February 16, 2015