A crash in Liberty County Friday night landed a local man behind bars and blocked traffic following the spring jamboree between Blountstown and Bristol.
Jimmy Allen O’Bryan, 49, of Bristol, was charged with DUI, careless driving, and open container.
According to Trooper Jason King of the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash occurred just after 9:30 p.m. on SR 20 about a half mile west of the traffic light at the intersection of CR 12. Tpr. King found a small white pickup in both the outside and inside east bound lanes blocking traffic. O’Bryan was still behind the wheel with an opened, spilled can of beer in the driver's floorboard. The driver, later identified as O’Bryan, stated, “Please, Trooper King, you know me, please don't do this to me, I am sorry, I only drank a little.”
Tpr. King informed the driver he was still conducting his crash investigation, to relax and allow EMS to check him out.
The report indicates O’Bryan was attempting to negotiate a slight uphill curve when he failed to maintain control of the vehicle and struck a guardrail. The truck rotated clockwise, landing across both lanes.
O’Bryan refused medical treatment and, once Tpr. King completed the crash investigation, he switched gears to a criminal investigation for DUI. Tpr. King noted in his report he could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from O’Bryan’s mouth and face area as he spoke. He also noticed his eyes to be very bloodshot and his speech was slurred.
After failing a field sobriety test, O’Bryan was booked into the Liberty County Jail.
Three Florida Forest Service tractor-plow units (fire suppression bulldozers pulling fireline plows) and one ‘brush truck’ are currently on the scene of a 35-plus acre wildfire right on the Bay County-Calhoun County line near the end of McGill Road/County Road 109 south of Scott’s Ferry Road.
According to the Florida Forest Service, the wildfire was discovered and reported earlier today around 10:30 a.m. by a Florida Forest Service tower person from a Calhoun County firetower (Smith Tower). A fixed-wing aircraft pilot was dispatched to fly over the blaze. He then reported that it is growing and spotting—meaning that embers are being blown by the wind ahead of the actual fire itself causing new smaller fires to start.
"I do believe that this area is, for the most part, remote meaning no homes appear to be immediately threatened," Brian Goddin, a spokesperson for the Florida Forest Service, reports.
The County Record will provide updates as they become available.
Recognize the masked individual in the photo shown above? The Blountstown Police Department is seeking information on this suspect who allegedly burglarized the Gas Mart across from Harvey’s on SR 71.
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Charles "Chic" Wood has withdrawn as a candidate in the County Commissioner District 5 race. Remaining on the ballot are democrats Thomas Flowers and Harold Pickron who will face off in the primary Aug. 14.
A 46-year-old Blountstown man arrested earlier this year for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl has been sentenced.
William Kevin Simmons, 46, has entered a plea of no contest to charges of sexual battery while in a position of authority. He was sentenced to 17 years in state prison, followed by five years probation.
According to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, Simmons' wife contacted the girl's mother with concerns about her daughter who often visited the Simmons home. Simmons' wife had reportedly found some text messages on his phone that made her suspicious. The girl's mother questioned her about her relationship with Simmons, leading to the teen disclosing she began having sexual encounters with Simmons over a year ago with an estimated 10 encounters occurring up until January 2012.
Several pieces of evidence were collected from Simmons' SUV and from an area where he allegedly took the teen parking for sexual encounters. The items have been sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for processing. A search warrant was also obtained for Simmons' phone, as well as the teen's phone.
Simmons was contacted by Inv. Michael Bryant Jan. 10 and agreed to provide a statement. However, when Inv. Bryant attempted to call him back two days later to set up the interview, Simmons' phone was disconnected or the number had been changed. Simmons' attorney called authorities this week and advised Simmons would surrender. He turned himself in at the Calhoun County Jail Thursday.
Eddie Joe White has filed his intent to run for sheriff in Liberty County. He is running as a democrat and will face incumbent Donnie Conyers and Henry Hamlin in the democratic primary Aug. 14. The winner in the primary election will go up against Nick Finch (NPA) in the general election Nov. 6.
Carla A. Hand has filed her intent to run for Calhoun County Clerk of Court. She is running with no party affiliation. Hand will face the winner of the democratic primary between Renee Attaway Crawford, Ray Howell and Danny Ray Wise in the general election Nov. 6.
Craig Lipford has filed his intent to run for Calhoun County Commissioner in district 3. He is running as a democrat and will face Jeral Hall, Sr., incumbent Don Miller and Lee Shelton in the primary election Aug. 14. The winner will go up against Nick Stone (NPA) in the general election Nov. 6.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is reportedly reviewing the death investigation of Blountstown Middle School coach, Tranum McLemore. According to FDLE spokesperson Gretl Plessinger, Liberty County Sheriff Donnie Conyers has requested FDLE review the case. More details as they become available.
With questions still looming in the community over the recent death of Blountstown Middle School coach, Tranum McLemore, The County Record is taking an investigative journalism approach to finding answers. When issues are raised, particularly when it comes to government operations, it is the media’s responsibility to hold those in authority accountable. This is not finger pointing, it is not an effort to accuse; it is the role of the media to inform the public when concerns arise.
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