Drunk driver stops commuter train

October 08, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

DUFFIELDS, W.Va. - A Shepherdstown, W.Va., man made a wrong turn at a railroad crossing Wednesday morning, forcing a commuter train to stop 10 yards from his car, according to West Virginia State Police.

The driver, Jeremy Paul Clark, 24, was charged with driving under the influence and improper parking, police said.

He was being held on $1,500 bond at the Eastern Regional Jail.

A witness told state police Senior Trooper Monte Williams that he was traveling behind Clark's car when he saw the driver attempt to make a right-hand turn, according to charging documents.

The car became stuck on the railroad tracks and was facing south on W.Va. 17 when police arrived, police said.

When Williams asked who the driver of the car was, the witness pointed to a man standing nearby with only one shoe on, police said.


As the trooper questioned Clark, he smelled an odor of alcohol, according to charging documents. Clark also had slurred speech and was having difficulty maintaining his balance, court records said.

When the trooper asked Clark for his driver's license and vehicle registration, Clark walked unsteadily to his car to get it, according to charging documents.

After three to four minutes of searching, the man said he could not find it, police said.

The trooper asked Clark to perform a variety of field sobriety tests and he failed all of them, according to court records.

Clark took a breathalyzer test at the state police barracks and registered a .173 blood alcohol count, about twice the legal limit, according to court records.

The train was radioed and stopped about 10 yards from Clark's car. It was unknown how long the commuter train was delayed and how many passengers were on it, police said.

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