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THP: 2 cruisers struck by drunk drivers in less than 2 weeks | News

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THP: 2 cruisers struck by drunk drivers in less than 2 weeks

For the second time in less than two weeks, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said a drunk driver hit a trooper's cruiser.

The latest DUI crash happened in the early morning hours after St. Patrick's Day, when a car struck the back of a THP cruiser on Interstate 40 in west Knoxville.

The trooper said he was working lane closures in a Tennessee Department of Transportation zone when Arthur C. Gulley's car crashed into his cruiser shortly before 1:15 a.m. at the westbound West Hills exit.

Gulley admitted to the trooper that he had been at a St. Patrick's Day party before the crash. No one was hurt in Wednesday's crash.

THP confirmed that this was 28-year-old man's second DUI. He was previously arrested for DUI in Hamblin County in 2005. The trooper also arrested the passenger in car, Lauren B. Brown, 21, of Knoxville, for having drug paraphernalia.

Earlier this month, a trooper arrested another driver for driving under the influence in west Knoxville.

On the night of March 6, a trooper said he was traveling on Middlebrook Pike near Francis Road in the left lane, when a car sideswiped his cruiser before crashing into the back of another vehicle.

The trooper said he blocked the driver of the car, Ellen J. Blum, 59, of Knoxville as she tried to run from the scene.

Officials said this was Blum's first DUI offense. No one was injured in the crash.

For THP Lt. Stacey Heatherly, these two DUI crashes are personal.

"It has affected me because I'm the lieutenant over this troop," said Heatherly. "These guys work with me. They are my coworkers, they're my friends."

Heatherly said drunk driving was also an issue in Sevier County on St. Patrick's Day.

"We had a checkpoint in Sevier County," Heatherly said. "They arrested five DUIs at just that checkpoint alone."


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