Alleged drunk driver hits sheriff’s patrol unit

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A Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy suffered minor injuries overnight Tuesday when an alleged drunk driver struck his patrol car while he was sitting idle off the roadway along SH 3.  The accident occurred about 2 a.m. near the Pottawatomie and Seminole county line. Deputy Eric Fletcher, who was on duty in his 2005 Chevrolet Impala patrol unit, was pulled off the roadway onto a grassy area, with the vehicle’s running lights illuminated, Sheriff Mike Booth said.

He was there to await the arrival of a Seminole County sheriff’s deputy, who was meeting him for a prisoner transport, he said.  Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Troy Thompson worked the accident and said Fletcher’s patrol car was well off the shoulder and roadway when a car traveling eastbound on SH 3 failed to negotiate the curve that turns southbound toward Seminole.

That car, a Chrysler 300 driven by David Dustin Bellew, 28, Seminole, stuck the driver’s side rear quarter panel of the patrol car and continued after impact until the vehicle hit a fence, Thompson said.

After the collision, Booth said the deputy was able to get out of the patrol car to check on the other driver.  Bellew, who was treated for minor injuries at the scene and refused further medical transport, was arrested at the scene, the trooper said.

He was booked into the Pottawatome County Public Safety Center on a complaint of driving under the influence, Thompson said.
Booth said Fletcher was sitting behind the wheel and heard the car coming toward him before the impact knocked the deputy over to the passenger side.

As a precautionary measure, Fletcher was taken to Unity Health Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and released, the trooper said.
Booth said Fletcher would take a few days off before returning to work.