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Police: Alcohol suspected in weekend crash

Police believe alcohol was involved in a crash that hospitalized the driver of a vehicle and damaged two parked cars in Mitchell. Wiley Steele, 21, of Mitchell, was hospitalized Saturday morning when his vehicle struck two parked cars on East 11t...

Police believe alcohol was involved in a crash that hospitalized the driver of a vehicle and damaged two parked cars in Mitchell.

Wiley Steele, 21, of Mitchell, was hospitalized Saturday morning when his vehicle struck two parked cars on East 11th Avenue in Mitchell, according to authorities. Mitchell Patrol Officer Kyle McLaughlin said Steele was unresponsive when police arrived, but the officer could smell alcohol at the scene.

Steele was unable to complete a preliminary breath test or field sobriety tests, so police gained a warrant to test the alcohol content in his blood. He has not been arrested, and police are waiting for the results to come back before possibly pressing charges, which could include DUI and a seat belt violation, McLaughlin said.

The crash occurred at about 5:20 a.m. at 309 E. 11th Ave. Steele was traveling west on 11th Avenue and may have recently turned off Langdon Street, McLaughlin said.

"He might have been coming from the north or south and then turned right on the corner onto 11th and lost control, or he might have been coming straight from the east. We're not sure yet," McLaughlin said.

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Steele's 2005 Pontiac G6 struck the front end of a 1999 Dodge Ram, which was facing east in front of a house at 309 E. 11th Ave., causing the pickup to turn 90 degrees and face north. The Ram was pushed backward into a 2009 Saturn Outlook that was parked behind it, damaging the Outlook's engine compartment and the back end of the pickup.

Steele's vehicle came to a stop in the front lawn of the residence, McLaughlin said. The passenger side of the G6 was caved in, and the door detached from the vehicle. McLaughlin said there was "a very good chance" all three vehicles are totaled.

"Besides the smell of alcohol, we had no indication as to what might have caused the accident," McLaughlin said.

The residents of the 11th Avenue home, who own the parked vehicles, called police after hearing the crash.

Steele was unconscious when police arrived and remained so to the hospital, where police collected a blood sample. Patrol Sgt. Adam Frerichs said Steele was released Tuesday.

McLaughlin said Steele sustained a cut on the right side of his head and possibly a couple broken bones, but he doesn't think there was any serious trauma. He was not wearing a seat belt. There was no passengers, and no one else was injured.

"Luckily, no one else was driving," McLaughlin said.

Mitchell fire and ambulance crews also responded. The Mitchell Police Division continues to investigate the incident.

Related Topics: CRASHES
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