According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:
Crystal Spring Branch, 29, of Indian Springs Road in Ringgold was arrested on Sunday, July 8,, on charges of DUI, disregard for a traffic control device, following too closely, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident (hit and run). Branch has been released on bond.
According to the police report, Branch was initially stopped at approximately 7:41 p.m. when she was seen running a red light along Cloud Springs Road.
“I observed the silver Dodge van run a red traffic light at Cloud Springs Road at Cross Street,” officer William Palmer wrote in the report. “During my investigation with the driver, she (Branch) stated that she ran the light because she had pulled out into the intersection and was trying to get clear of oncoming traffic. Mrs. Branch also stated that another driver had yelled at her that she (Branch) had hit them.”
Branch stated that she wasn’t aware of hitting anyone with her vehicle.
“I checked Mrs. Branch’s vehicle for any recent signs of damage and could find none,” Palmer said. “I advised Mrs. Branch to be more careful with the traffic lights and let her on her way.”
A few moments later, officer Palmer made contact with a second vehicle after he observed it blocking traffic on Cloud Springs Road just west of Cross Street, reports show.
“The driver stated that someone had just rear-ended her and then drove off,” Palmer said. “I asked her what type of vehicle hit her and she described a silver Dodge van.”
Officer Palmer then relocated Branch, who refused to drive her vehicle back to the scene of the alleged accident, reports show.
“During the transport to the scene of the accident, I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mrs. Branch,” Palmer said. “Upon arriving at the scene, I spoke with the victim, who stated that Mrs. Branch had struck her vehicle while she was stopped at a red light.”
The victim stated that Branch pulled up beside her, asked her if she had hit her and then shrugged her shoulders and drove off, reports show.
“I then spoke with Mrs. Branch and asked how much she had to drink,” Palmer said. “Mrs. Branch stated that she had only consumed one beer. As she was stating what happened, I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage on her breath.”
Branch was then given a field sobriety test, which she failed, and also tested positive for alcohol on a preliminary breath test, reports show.
Branch was transported to Catoosa County jail without incident.
The victim from the accident stated that her back was hurting, but refused medical treatment or transport from EMS.
She stated that she would drive home and have her husband take her to the hospital, reports show.
“During my initial traffic stop with Mrs. Branch, I was unable to detect any odor of an alcoholic beverage due to a strong breeze and the distance between myself and Mrs. Branch,” Palmer said. “Mrs. Branch had opened the door of her vehicle, and I was standing clear.”