Driver arrested for DUI 2nd following Saturday’s near head-on collision on US Highway 68

crashUPDATED: The driver of the vehicle was later identified as 55 year-old Dale Wyatt of Benton who was also charged with operating on a suspended license, no registration plates, no insurance, and giving officer a false name.

Original Story:
BENTON – A young victim narrowly escaped serious injury on Saturday afternoon after being hit by an intoxicated driver in a near head-on collision.

According to eye-witness statements, a white mini-van was traveling west-bound on US Highway 68 west and had been seen by motorists crossing the center line before finally crossing over fully into the eastbound lanes and into the path of oncoming traffic.

The driver of the van side-swiped the first passenger car which had swerved toward the ditch to avoid the collision, however, the driver of the second car was unable to fully avoid the collision although she pulled toward oncoming traffic in an attempt to avoid the van.

The impact of the crash left both vehicles in lanes opposing their original path of travel. The driver of the van immediately climbed out of the passenger window and was kept at the scene by an off-duty officer until law enforcement officials could arrive.

While the scene was being investigated, the driver of the van also attempted to get into the driver’s side of an emergency responder’s vehicle which was parked nearby.

The driver was taken into custody and later arrested for giving an officer a false name and for DUI 2nd, aggravating circumstances. The victim of the collision was a senior at Marshall County High School and declined EMS treatment at the scene.

We are awaiting a full report from the Sheriff’s Office before positively identifying the suspect due to his giving a false name at the scene.

Members of the Palma-Briensburg Fire Department and MC Rescue Squad responded to the scene and closed the roadway for approximatley 45 minutes.