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Crash results in DUI charge

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By Staff Reports

HILLSVILLE — An Alabama woman was charged with a driving under the influence after crashing her car over an embankment in Hillsville on July 20.

The incident occurred at approximately 7 p.m. last Sunday on U.S. 52, approximately one-tenth of a mile north of Hanging Tree Road, according to a report filed by Virginia State Police Senior Troper K.D. Blackburn, who investigated the accident.

Jami Jackson Fregeau, 29, of Guntersville, Ala. was operating a 2003 GMC Envoy, when the vehicle ran off of the left side of the road down a steep embankment, and struck a tree.

Fregeau was carrying a passenger, whose name was not listed in the report.

“OnStar called in the location, but where it was down off the road, down a deep hole, emergency responders actually drove by it the first time,” said State Police 1st Sgt. Mike Musser.

Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department and Carroll County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, and performed an extraction to get the driver and passenger safely out of the vehicle.

“I don’t think [the driver] was pinned in, but she couldn’t get out because of the damage to the vehicle,” Musser said. “It wasn’t an easy extraction. They had some stabilization issues because the vehicle was almost standing on its back end.

“They had to stabilize the patient on the inside, so she didn’t incur a spinal injury. Then they had to cut away part of the roof and one of the doors, and one of the firemen told me they had to cut the steering column out.”

Once Fregeau was out of the vehicle, Blackburn said he noticed obvious signs of alcohol use. After some preliminary testing, he charged Fregeau with a DUI, Musser said.

Fregeau was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, but Musser noted that the injuries were not life-threatening.

Officials were on scene for about an hour, Musser said. Virginia State Police and the rescue departments were assisted at the scene by members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.