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I-81 wreck leads to fourth DUI charge

I81 DUI wreck-web

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A wreck on Interstate 81 in Pulaski County Tuesday resulted in a Leesburg man being charged with a fourth offense of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

According to Virginia State Police First Sgt. Mike Honaker, Dave F. Sweet, 29, was southbound “at a high rate of speed” at mile maker 93.5 when the 11 a.m. wreck occurred.

Honaker said Sweet was in the left southbound lane
when he came up behind another vehicle. “As a result of his speed, impatience and intoxication, he abruptly changed lanes,” he said.

Sweet moved to the right lane in front of a tractor-trailer, then “attempted to abruptly move back to the left lane in front of the car he was passing,” said Honaker. At that point, he said, Sweet’s 2004 Ford Explorer struck the left rear of another tractor-trailer that was also in the right lane.

The collision caused Sweet to lose control of the Explorer. Honaker said the vehicle spun around, coming to rest in the median.

Sweet was transported to LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski for treatment of minor injuries. Honaker said Sweet was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, being a fourth offense and the third offense within a five-years period; having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; no insurance; expired registration, and no state safety inspection.

According to Honaker, the driver of the 1982 Freightliner tractor-trailer, Lugiano Quintero, 40, of Mesquite, Texas, was not injured.

The Explorer was a total loss, but the Freightliner sustained only minor damage.

Honaker said Trooper Mark Overholt investigated the wreck with assistance at the scene from Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Justin Dobbins, REMSI and Draper Volunteer Fire Department.