Note: This story was last updated at 4:20 p.m.
The driver of a car that allegedly caused a four-vehicle crash and damaged a home on Robertsville Road has been charged with driving under the influence, authorities said.
Officers located Brandon Kyle Baez, 18, of Oak Ridge, after he walked away from the crash at 184 Robertsville Road and tried to hide in a wooded area, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Ben Higgins said in a warrant.
The crash occurred at about 10:40 p.m. Thursday just east of North Illinois Avenue. An SUV-type vehicle driven by Baez allegedly left the road, drove through the front yard of one home on Robertsville Road, crashed into a Ford four-door sedan parked in the driveway, and pushed it about three or four car lengths into a neighbor’s front yard—and reportedly caused a collision with two cars parked in the neighbor’s driveway (the home of Mike and Judy Coen).
One of those cars, a Toyota Tercel used by Mike Coen, was shoved into the side of the house, damaging siding at the corner of the Coens’ home. The SUV-type vehicle came to rest with its back end partially on top of another vehicle in the driveway, a Saturn used by Judy Coen, reportedly crushing its rear end.
“It rocked our house,” said Judy Coen, who said the couple was in bed watching television when the crash occurred. “We thought it was an explosion.”
The right side of the Ford owned by the Coens’ neighbors was caved in and heavily damaged.
There were no injuries, said Todd Derrick, Oak Ridge Fire Department battalion chief.
The Oak Ridge Police Department appeared to be searching for someone west of North Illinois Avenue, at Robertsville Middle School, just before 11 p.m. Thursday using a K-9 unit and other officers.
Higgins said he could smell a strong alcoholic odor coming from Baez after officers found him, and his eyes were bloodshot and glossy.
“The defendant appeared to be uneasy on his feet as well,” Higgins wrote in the warrant.
Baez told the officer he’d had one shot of whiskey and had rinsed his mouth out with mouthwash as well, according to the warrant.
Baez, who was allegedly driving with a suspended license, told police he lost control of the vehicle and left the scene because he was scared.
ORPD Officer Grant Gouldie said Baez had been “skidding and yawing” approximately 150-200 feet before he hit the first vehicle, according to the warrant.
“Officer Gouldie further advised that the skid and yaw marks started on the wrong side of the road, indicating that the defendant was on the wrong side of the roadway, and that the defendant was obviously traveling at speeds too fast for the road conditions and above the posted 25 mph speed limit,” the warrant said.
Baez told Higgins that he was driving on the wrong side of the road because he was trying to avoid ice.
Baez was also charged with reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, duty to render aid, and joyriding, according to the Anderson County General Sessions Court. Baez remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Friday afternoon.
More information will be added as it becomes available.