Man suspected of driving drunk after crashing into tree while in reverse

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Graham County Sheriff’s Office believes alcohol was a factor in a single-vehicle crash. 

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – The Graham County Sheriff’s Office suspects alcohol to be a contributing factor in a crash after a man wrecked his car into a tree while traveling in reverse.

Scott Allen Rivers, 33, was found unconscious lying across the front seat of his silver, four-door sedan. The vehicle had crashed off E. Sanchez Road just before 11:40 a.m. on Thursday, April 26.

Paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance removed Rivers and transported him to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC) for treatment.

As the deputy and paramedics were assisting Rivers, the deputy noted a distinct smell of alcohol emanating from Rivers. The deputy also noted he detected a faint smell of alcohol in the vehicle as well.

Rivers remained unconscious at the hospital during treatment and therefore was not able to be interviewed by the deputy. However, the deputy did obtain a sample of Rivers’ blood given to him by medical personnel that he sent to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab in Tucson to be tested for the presence of alcohol.

According to several witnesses, Rivers was seen driving his vehicle northbound on Sanchez Road before abruptly stopping in the middle of the roadway and then heading southbound in reverse in the northbound lane at roughly 25 mph. One witness said she saw Rivers driving erratically in reverse, swerving all over the road but lost sight of the car as it went around a curve. She then came upon the crash site.

Rivers has an extensive history with law enforcement and recently served three years in prison for burglary and trafficking in stolen property. He was released in February 2017.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, DUI charges are pending analysis of Rivers’ blood.