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Drunk driver reportedly causes crash
Dave Byars.jpg

A McMinnville man faces a number of charges for a head-on crash that law enforcement officials say occurred while he was heavily intoxicated.

Dave Randall Byars, 48, faces charges of second-offense DUI, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm, and failure to maintain proper lane.

The crash left the driver of the other vehicle, Phillip Hamil-ton, 21, of Murfreesboro, with severe injuries, although they are not believed to be life-threatening. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

The charges stem from a crash last Saturday, Aug. 28, on the two-lane portion of Highway 70 at the top of the mountain before Woodbury. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Byars was driving a Ford F150 and traveling toward Woodbury around 6 p.m. when he crossed the centerline.

When Byars reportedly left his lane of travel, he collided with an Infinity sedan driven by Hamilton that was traveling toward McMinnville.

State trooper Andrew Coppinger, a drug recognition expert, said Byars “was too intoxicated to do a field sobriety test.” He added that medical personnel at Ascension Stones River Hospital in Woodbury had to give Byars a shot of Narcan.

Witnesses at the scene reported Byars ran into the woods with two bags after the crash. Cannon County deputies were able to find those bags. One was empty and the other contained a revolver, according to trooper Coppinger.

Byars had two passengers in his pickup, Angela Scott, 49, of McMinnville, and a 5-year-old juvenile, who was properly restrained in a car seat. They were transported to Ascension Stones River and released.

Byars will face his charges in Cannon County.