KPD e-News Release: Drug Impaired Driver Indicted and Arrested Following Investigation into May 2016 Crash

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Drug Impaired Driver Indicted and Arrested Following Investigation into May 2016 Crash
DATE: January 11, 2017
CASE #: 16-009403 (Motor Vehicle Collision)

17-000683 (Arrest)

On May 5, 2016 at approximately 2:45 PM, a member of the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit responded to a motor vehicle collision with injuries in the 900 block of East Stone Drive in Kingsport. His subsequent investigation revealed the following:

A 1987 Mazda SE5 pickup, driven by Ty P. Phillips, was eastbound on East Stone Drive. Without reason or warning, the Mazda crossed over the center turn lane and into the oncoming westbound lanes. The Mazda first struck a westbound Chevrolet Tahoe that was pulling a trailer. The driver and sole occupant of the Chevrolet was not injured.

The Mazda continued on and struck a westbound Saturn Vue in the front-end. The Saturn careened off the Mazda and left the roadway, striking a fire hydrant before coming to rest in a ditch. The driver and front-seat passenger of the Saturn both sustained substantial injuries and were transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. for treatment They have both since been released; however, their injuries are continuing to plague them to this day.

Mr. Phillips was also transported to Holston Valley Medical Center for treatment. Upon speaking with him at the hospital, the investigating officer noticed that he had significantly constricted pupils and inquired as to why he left his travel lane. Mr. Phillips could provide no explanation other than that he might have passed out.

Mr. Phillips volunteered that he was currently prescribed six prescription medications and allowed the officer to retrieve a list of those medications from his wallet. Based upon this information, the officer requested that Mr. Phillips submit a blood sample for testing, and he consented.

The results of that test were received a few months later and revealed that at the time of the crash, Mr. Phillips had been under the influence of six different prescription medications to include Oxycodone. The test was also positive for the chemical Difluoroethane, which is commonly found in aerosol duster sprays commonly abused as inhalants.

On January 4, 2017 the results of this investigation were presented to the Sullivan County Grand Jury which in turn returned a true bill. A Criminal Court capias was issued for Mr. Phillips arrest, charging him with Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Endangerment, 2 counts of Aggravated Assault, and Failure to Drive Within Lane.

On January 11, 2017 Mr. Phillips was arrested at his residence, transported to the Kingsport City Jail for processing, and then forwarded to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville for confinement in lieu of a $15,000 bond as set by the presiding judge.

Name Ty P. Phillips
Age Date of Birth 12/27/1974

42 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 573 Gravely Road

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Driving Under the Influence

2) Reckless Endangerment

3) Aggravated Assault (2 counts)

4) Failure to Drive Within Lane

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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