A 22-year-old facing a DUI charge after striking a man on Manchester Expressway told police she had a couple beers at an Applebee’s restaurant before the crash, according to testimony Friday morning in Recorder’s Court.
Kelsey Hill of Waverly, Ga. pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, tampering with evidence and serious injury by vehicle. She was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail, but she was released on bond totaling $20,500 hours later.
Columbus police said they were called to the intersection of Manchester Expressway and Hamilton Road around 12:34 a.m. Thursday to investigate the crash that left a man with leg and arm fractures and facial injuries.
He was rushed to the Midtown Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition as of Friday afternoon.
Authorities said Hill was at the Applebee’s on Gentian Boulevard Wednesday night.
She was traveling west on Manchester Expressway in a 2004 Honda Accord when she approached a red light at Hamilton Road. She began to slow down and the passenger in her vehicle told her that a man was in the roadway.
Officials said that’s when Hill struck him with the left side of her front bumper. The woman said the pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk and several feet east of the intersection, according to police.
Authorities said Hill reeked of alcohol when they approached her. Officials found a bag with six bottles of Miller Lites partially concealed on the side of Manchester Expressway.
The driver allegedly admitted to placing the bottles outside of her car.
Police said Hill initially stated that she only had one 12-ounce Bud Light beer, but she later admitted to having at least one more. Her BAC was 0.078, and she failed the field sobriety test, according to three officers’ testimonies.
Attorney Jennifer Curry, who represented Hill, asked that DUI charge be dismissed, stating that her client’s BAC level was below the legal limit of 0.08. She also asked that the tampering with evidence charge be dismissed, because her client didn’t try to hide the Miller Lites.
“I don’t believe that’s the appropriate charge,” Curry said of the DUI charge. “The law is very clear.”