Drunk Driver Hit, Dragged Street Lamp, Police Say
Rockaway man also hit a bicycle rack before fleeing the scene, according to police report.
A drunk driver struck a bicycle rack and street lamp, dragging the lamp down Morris Street before later being apprehended once the vehicle was no longer driveable, police said.
Benjamin Meth, 23, of Rockaway, was charged with driving while intoxicated, careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident at 10:50 p.m. on July 27.
Officer Carmen Caponegro responded to the area of 67 Morris St., George & Martha's American Grille, on a report of a vehicle crash and leaving the scene.
While en route, Caponegro reported seeing a "Colonial style" street lamp, owned by Morristown Partnership, lying in the road at Morris and Pine streets. The officer also discovered the vehicle, described as a blue Volkswagen Jetta, had struck a bicycle rack also owned by Morristown Partnership and had dragged the streetlight until it detached at Morris and Pine, according to the report.
Police then received a call from someone at the Sunoco gas station at Hanover and Ridgedale avenues in Morris Township about a man trying to buy a tire for a Jetta that appeared to have been in an accident, police said.
When police arrived, the Jetta and its driver were gone. The staff member at the Sunoco, however, said the vehicle had headed south on Ridgedale Avenue and Det. Richard Lamperti found the Jetta, which was disabled at the corner of Ridgedale and Abbett avenues, according to the report.
The driver, identified as Meth, told Caponegro he had swerved his vehicle to avoid hitting another vehicle and had crashed into a tree, police said.
Meth's windshield also was damaged, which he said had been from the same incident, according to the report. Officers noticed Meth swaying and a scent of alcohol on his breath, police said. Meth said he had drank earlier but was able to drive, according to the report.
Meth was transported to Morristown Medical Center as a precaution from the accident, police said. He was later released into the custody of his mother.
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