A longtime teacher at Blountstown schools is facing several charges following a single vehicle crash Saturday night.
Billy Ray Jones, 58, has been charged with DUI, DUI with property damage, leaving the scene of an accident, and resisting arrest without violence.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Trooper Wes Harsey responded to an accident at the intersection of SR 71 and Oglesby Road at 10:36 p.m. where an abandoned vehicle was found in a ditch. Calhoun County Sheriff’s Deputy John Scheetz, Altha Police Officer Ricky Mayo, and FHP Sgt. J.D. Johnson were already on the scene. The vehicle was straddling the west ditch facing west in a flower bed owned by Oglesby Plants International. An empty Bud Light beer box was sitting in the parking lot close to the vehicle.
Sgt. Johnson told Trooper Harsey that the driver had left the scene and contacted AAA to come tow the vehicle. While awaiting the arrival of Mallory Towing, a car pulled up in the parking lot and the female driver, later identified as Jones’ daughter, got out and stated she had called AAA, that the vehicle was hers, and she was trying to turn around and ran in the ditch. Trooper Harsey and Sgt. Johnson discovered that the vehicle actually belonged to Billy Jones and, upon further questioning, his daughter admitted her father had been drinking and asked her to lie for him so he wouldn’t go to jail.
Upon questioning, Jones stated he and his daughter were returning from the Seafood Festival in Apalachicola, she was driving, and ran into the ditch as they turned onto Oglesby Road. Despite being told that his daughter had already admitted she had just picked him up after the crash, Jones insisted she was driving, but slipped up at one point and said, “I was driving northbound on 71...” He later returned to his original statement that his daughter was behind the wheel. Trooper Harsey noted Jones smelled of alcohol, was swaying, and had slurred speech.
Upon being told he was under arrest, Jones resisted by pulling his arms together so he couldn’t be cuffed. Trooper Harsey then forced him on the ground and, with assistance from other officers, he was taken into custody.
Jones later admitted he was behind the wheel. He was booked into the Calhoun County Jail and released the following day on his own recognizance.