BEAN STATION – Officers responding to a report of a possible domestic dispute and assault in Bean Station discovered glowing taillights sinking into the depths of the lake early Sunday morning, October 3.
According to reports, neither the driver of the vehicle, James Allison, 24, of Lenoir City, nor passenger Scott Paul Butler, 20, Bean Station could advise officers whether anyone was in the sinking vehicle.
Officer Tristan Pettiecord reported having observed tire tracks leading into the lake, and then noticing taillights glowing in the water and sinking. He and Deputy Chad Seal reportedly entered the water in an attempt to locate any passengers of the vehicle, but were unable to locate anyone.
Neighbors reportedly advised officers they saw individuals take off down the lake bottom.
Pettiecord reported making contact with Butler, who allegedly told him, “I don’t know where I am at and I don’t know if anyone was in there with me or not.”
Butler was reportedly unsteady on his feet and spoke with slurred speech. When asked if he had taken medication or had anything to drink, Butler reportedly told Pettiecord he had consumed a couple of beers.
A neighbor reported seeing the driver of the vehicle, Allison, running through a campground. When asked if he knew if anyone else was in the vehicle besides Butler and himself, Allison allegedly said, “I don’t know. I don’t remember. I looked inside of the car before I came out and no one was in there.”
Allison reportedly told Pettiecord he had consumed a beer or two. Pettiecord reported Allison had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.
Due to their reported extremely intoxicated state, standard field sobriety tests could not be conducted for Allison or Butler.
Allison was charged with DUI, vandalism, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and reckless driving. Butler was charged with public intoxication and underage possession/consumption.