Volunteer Firefighter International

Impaired Driver Nearly Hits Volunteer Firefighter, Rig

Suspected moonshine and beer were found in the vehicle; the driver refused field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests

By Firefighter Close Calls

A Rowlesburg, W.Va. man was charged with DUI after police say he nearly hit a firefighter who was directing traffic at a crash scene.

John Walter Loughrie, 57, was arrested Sunday. According to the criminal complaint by Preston Sheriff’s Deputy First Class W.E. Crawford, he spotted Loughrie driving a white Ford Ranger on WV 26 and “weaving sharply from the double yellow line to the outside white line.”

The pickup also was having difficulty negotiating left hand turns and dropped off the road, nearly hitting the guardrail three times.

While seeking a safe place to initiate a traffic stop, they came upon Albright firefighters directing traffic at an accident. The pickup nearly hit a firefighter, the officer said.

It stopped, crossed the yellow line and almost hit a fire truck. Deputy Crawford stopped the Ranger just past the accident scene.

Loughrie denied having had anything to drink even though he had to use the truck door to steady himself, swayed back and forth, slurred his speech, was uncoordinated and disoriented, according to the complaint. He refused to take field sobriety tests.

The deputy found a nearly empty Bud Light can on the front passenger seat, along with an open Mason jar of suspected moonshine. At the sheriff’s office, he again refused to take a breath test.

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