Various driving charges lands one behind bars

GRAFTON—A local man spent some time behind bars, after being charged with driving infractions by area law enforcement officials.

Jacob Matthew Morgan, 34, of Grafton is being charged with driving with under the influence of alcohol with injuries, possession of an open container and vehicle entering through a highway or stop intersections, also known as failure to yield right of way, all misdemeanors.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Deputy Gregory A. Garlock, of the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, he was called to the scene of an accident involving a passenger car and an ATV.

Upon arrival, the deputy noted a Subaru Legacy with extensive damage to the front end, in the eastbound lane, as well as an ATV stopped in the parking area of the Thornton Post Office, with damage to the driver’s side of the vehicle.

The officer noted that lying next to the ATV was a female and a male, Morgan, was standing nearby. He also observed numerous cans of beer strung spread about the area, as well. It was the officer’s belief that the alcoholic beverages had been secured on the ATV prior to the accident.

Morgan admitted to the officers that the ATV belonged to him and that he had been the operator at the time of the crash.

While speaking with the defendant, the officer noted that his eyes were red and glassy and that he spoke with a slowed speech. While he was speaking, the officer could smell alcohol on Morgan’s breath.

In addition to the female passenger of the ATV, the driver of the Subaru was also injured, and both parties were transported to Grafton City Hospital by ambulance. Additional deputies arrived on scene to assist with the call.

The officer continued to interview Morgan, who told him that he had been traveling on Glade Run toward Thornton Pike with a group of ATVs. He told the officer that while attempting to turn onto Thornton Pike, the driver of the Subaru was attempting to turn onto Glade Run and as a result, the driver struck his ATV.

While taking pictures of the scene, the officer noticed numerous open cans of beer inside of the ATV.

When asked if he had consumed any alcohol, Morgan told the officers that he had consumed some earlier in the day. He then complained of chest pains and requested medical attention.

Morgan was asked to submit to a breathalyzer test while they waited for medical personnel to arrive on scene, and although he agreed, he failed to properly blow into the device, allegedly attempting to manipulate the testing process.

The defendant was transported to Grafton City Hospital, where Deputy Dylan Johnson continued the investigation with Morgan, while Deputy Garlock spoke with the Subaru’s driver.

The driver told Garlock that while driving on Thornton Pike near the intersection with Glade Run, she noticed three ATV’s entering onto the roadway. She continued on her route of travel, when she claims that Morgan’s ATV entered the road directly in front of her, causing her to collide into the ATV.

She further told officers that she was not turning onto Glade Run but was traveling back to her home in Preston County.

The officer said in his report that due to the condition of the vehicles and the statement given by the Subaru’s driver, it was apparent that Morgan failed to stop at the stop sign and did not yield to oncoming traffic.

Morgan was asked to submit to a blood test and refused to be interview further by Johnson. Garlock contacted a Taylor County Magistrate and obtained a search warrant for the blood collection from Morgan.

The blood was drawn by lab technicians and properly sealed in a box and placed into evidence by the deputy.

Morgan was taken into custody and transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where he has since made bond.


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