By Rachel Dove
CHATTAROY - A two-vehicle collision that occurred on Buffalo Mountain near Buffalo Creek Road sent one woman to the hospital and another to jail.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court by West Virginia State Police Trooper J.J. Dean III, he responded to a two-car traffic crash. Upon arrival, he saw one of the drivers, Patricia Rose, who was driving a 2001 Dodge Caravan, being taken to a local hospital by STAT Ambulance for evaluation and treatment of injuries she allegedly suffered in the crash. The injuries were found to be non-life threatening but did require medical care, Dean said.
According to his report, Dean spoke with Kristen Rutledge, 33, of Gilbert, who had been operating a 1998 Chevrolet S-10. He said he found the defendant to be unsteady on her feet, with dilated pupils. A three-part series of field sobriety tests was administered to Rutledge, which she was unable to complete, according to the complaint. She reportedly told the trooper she was unable to successfully do the one-leg stand and walk due to a leg injury she claimed to have suffered in the accident.
An investigation of the accident determined that Rutledge crossed the center line, striking the Dodge Caravan. According to eyewitness reports, Rutledge was operating her truck in a reckless manner and failed to maintain control of her vehicle.
Dean completed a records check through the state Department of Motor Vehicles that revealed that the vehicle was not properly registered and was also without insurance, the trooper said. Rutledge was taken to Williamson Memorial Hospital, where, according to the complaint, she agreed to have her blood drawn for a drug and alcohol toxicology screen. Results of those tests are still pending.
Rutledge was arraigned in magistrate court before Senior Status Magistrate Kim Blair, and was remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden, where she remained until she was released on a $9,000 bond.
Rutledge is scheduled to appear in court next week for a preliminary hearing.