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Lassen County Times, January 8, 2002, By Sam Williams
Copies of the article are available free.
DA files DUI charge in alleged alcohol-related crash involving LMUD Director Wood
Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns filed charges on Friday, January 4, alleging Lassen Municipal Utility District Director Darrell Edward Wood, 45, was driving under the influence in an early morning December 19 accident on Main Street in Susanville.
Wood, a Leavitt Lake resident, said he couldn't comment on the accident at this time. Because the police department and the DA refused to verify Wood's identity, it could not be confirmed at the time of the crash.
Test results Burns received on Friday allegedly showed Wood's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. Burns would not say how far above the .08 Woods blood alcohol allegedly rose.
According to the Susanville Police Department, Woods white 2000 Dodge Ram pickup slammed into a legally parked chip truck and trailer at 12:30 AM, Dec. 19, causing major damage to the front end of the pickup and minor damage to the rear end of the trailer.
Wood, the pickup's sole occupant, had been drinking, according to the Susanville Police Department log, but the two Susanville police officers who responded to the accident did not report they administered a field sobriety test to Wood.
Because he complained of chest and rib pain, Wood was transported to Lassen Community Hospital for evaluation.
Medical personnel at the hospital obtained a blood sample, which was sent to the California Department of Justice for determination of Wood's blood alcohol content. The extent of Wood's injuries was not revealed, but Wood did attend a Dec. 26 LMUD board meeting.
According to the police log, Wood was not arrested, and the case was referred to the Lassen County District Attorney's Office.
Wood was eastbound on Main Street east of Riverside Drive and traveling at an unreported speed when he struck the chip trailer parked on the south side of Main Street.
Susanville Police Chief Jim Wages and Burns both said it was not unusual that Wood was not arrested at the scene because treatment of his possible injuries took priority over his arrest.
Burns characterized the situation as "standard operating procedure".
"We'll treat this just like we do any other DUI case", Burns said.
A few hours before the accident, the LMUD Board held a special meeting at 5:15 pm on December 18. At that meeting the board approved hiring Les Leiber, a former LMUD employee and consultant, as interim general manager for the publicly-owned utility