By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – John Bryon Nelson Phillips, 22, of Safford, was arrested for DUI in the early Thursday morning after allegedly striking several vehicles while driving while intoxicated.
According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies and a Safford officer responded at about 3:40 a.m. to a crash off E. 20th Street involving five vehicles.
Upon arrival, a deputy located Phillips’ vehicle, a black, 2019 Ford Mustang, in the front yard of a residence resting against a house. The Mustang had extensive damage and an open 12-pack of beer was located inside along with several empty bottles.
According to the deputies’ investigation, the Mustang struck a utility pole, which caused it to veer off the road and into a grey, 2018 Jeep Cherokee, which was parked in a residential driveway. The Mustang then continued into another driveway and struck a white, 2002 Dodge Stratus. The impact with the Dodge pushed that car into a white, 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer, and caused that vehicle to strike a grey, 1989 Chevy. The Mustang then continued into the yard and came to rest against the house. All of the vehicles except for the Jeep and the Chevy were towed from the scene.
Phillips showed signs of intoxication and allegedly admitted to drinking shots and other forms of alcohol with friends before trying to “hurry home” because he was drunk, according to the report. Phillips allegedly said he felt a bump in the road and then throttled down on the accelerator, which caused him to drive into the parked vehicles.
Phillips was reportedly irate at the scene and was belligerent to the deputies and the owners of the vehicles he had struck.
After being taken to the Thatcher Police Department for a blood draw, Phillips allegedly advised he would submit to the draw because he was indeed drunk.
After Phillips’ blood was taken he was transported to his residence, where he was released to his mother. Charges including DUI and criminal damage are pending results from the blood test analysis and filing by prosecutors.