A man who plunged his car over an embankment, taking his four passengers with him after a wedding reception, has been granted probation.
The wedding "crasher", Clinton L. Smith, was granted an 11-month, 29-day judicial diversion by General Sessions Judge Bill Locke and was directed to pay $350 plus court costs. He was granted a judicial diversion meaning his criminal record will be erased once his probation is complete.
His sentence comes following a late-night crash on Beach Road at Rock Island State Park as he and friends were returning home from a wedding reception.
“He was driving the vehicle on the 25 mph road in a reckless manner,” said Highway Patrolman Gary Myers who investigated the wreck, noting the suspect lost control of his Toyota Four Runner. “He traveled across the westbound lane and collided with a small tree.”
The small SUV then careened down a ravine, coming to rest at the bottom. The driver and passengers escaped critical injury but the trooper said that does not absolve his actions behind the wheel.
“He endangered all inside the vehicle and those on the roadway,” Myers said in charging him with reckless endangerment.
The officer noted there was alcohol spilled inside the wrecked vehicle and that he found some pills wrapped in plastic at the scene of the crash. There were no drunk driving charges taken against the driver. The trooper added there were no skid marks leading up to the crash site.