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Umatilla man downs five Crown and Cokes before DUI wreck

Cody Jonathan Gray
Cody Jonathan Gray

An Umatilla man admitted to having five Crown and Coke drinks at a Eustis bar before getting into a drunk-driving crash with a semi-truck.

Jonathan Gray, 29, was charged with DUI after the wreck, which happened shortly before 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at the intersection of North State Road 19 and East County Road 44.

A Eustis police officer arrived at the scene and found both vehicles in the middle of the intersection, blocking southbound traffic on SR-19. He first spoke with Gray, who was unable to say what happened or provide his license and registration. Gray’s speech was slurred and he struggled to maintain his balance as he stood by the driver’s side door of his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, according to the arrest report.

The driver of the semi was also unable say what happened because he was dizzy and his left ear was bleeding. He was taken by EMS to Sanford Regional Hospital, the report said.

The officer spoke again to Gray, who said he came from Backfin, located at 108 N. Bay St. in Eustis, and was trying to get back home to Umatilla. He pointed in the wrong direction for both locations as he spoke, according to the report.

Gray was finally able to provide his license. As the officer went to get Gray’s registration and insurance information, he noticed vomit on the driver’s door. Asked a second time where he was coming from and where he was going, Gray again pointed in the wrong direction, the report said.

Asked if he had anything to drink, Gray said he had five Crown and Cokes at Backfin. After performing poorly in a series of field sobriety exercises, he was arrested and taken to AdventHealth Waterman for medical clearance. While at the hospital, Gray provided blood and urine samples for testing, according to the report.

After being medically cleared, Gray was taken to the Lake County Jail, where he was released after posting $1,000 bond. He’ll appear in Lake County Court on Sept. 19.

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