Dazed driver detained

Tia Lynn Ivey News

By Sarah Wibell

staff writer

Brian Michael Toole, 28, of Augusta, was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs not in their original containers by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 24, after allegedly committing a hit and run the previous night. Toole was also cited for driving while under the influence.

According to arrest reports, Toole declined to submit to a blood test and allegedly admitted to being a heroin addict. He reportedly told police the heroin and marijuana supposedly found in his vehicle consequent to his arrest were his, but suspected cocaine found in the vehicle belonged to a friend. He further alleged that he took heroin the prior morning, used Clonasapam, Cariserodol, and Zofram, and may have taken a sleeping pill too early on the day of the hit and run, according to the police.

Morgan County Deputy Kenneth Smith, who made the arrest, stated that he, “[…observed that Mr. Toole’s boots and clothing were wet. Mr. Toole’s pants leg was torn. I observed multiple lacerations on Mr. Toole’s arms and legs. I asked Mr. Toole if he had been running in the woods and he stated that he did not remember.”

Reports state that Toole informed officers that he did not recall anything that took place between looking up while driving, seeing bright lights, and having a collision and waking up at a gas station. His vehicle, a white Toyota Tundra, had damage to the front passenger side and the front bumper. Parts of a silver vehicle were stuck in the Tundra. Toole supposedly told officers he did not know how he arrived in Morgan County as he had been working in Carrollton, only remembering that he had been searching for a vape store. Deputy Smith noted that Toole’s speech was slurred and allegedly observed “drowsy” behavior and “bloodshot” eyes.

Toole’s arrest was preceded by a hit and run on Interstate 20 on Jan. 23 around 11 p.m., which involved a silver Mercedes Benz and a white truck. A call early the following morning reported a suspicious vehicle in the Valero gas station parking lot on Newborn Road, Rutledge, similar in description to the incident report from the hit and run the night before. When officers arrived, the vehicle was no longer on site. Police began canvassing the area.

A white Toyota Tundra was spotted on Atlanta Highway 278 near Ward Road. The driver, later identified as Toole, was stopped after reportedly driving south in a northbound lane on Eatonton Highway by Cpl. Stacey Eaton of the Madison Police Department. Deputy Smith arrived on the scene placing Toole under arrest for the alleged hit and run after Cpl. Eaton found two prescription bottles and a plastic bag containing a green, leafy substance. One of the bottles held the subsequently tested and identified heroin and cocaine that were in separate plastic bags.

Toole has been cited on six counts—three counts for possession of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, one for prescription drugs not in their original containers, another for driving under the influence, and the sixth for the alleged hit and run. Toole also has warrants from Columbia and Richmond County and has been placed on hold by Columbia County. The driver of the Mercedes Benz was not identified in the police report.

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