NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A driver was arrested for DUI after an officer found him unconscious and unresponsive behind the wheel of a running van at a North Myrtle Beach intersection Thursday morning, with his foot on the brake pedal. A passenger, also found unconscious, was taken to a nearby hospital.
At about 4:37 a.m., a North Myrtle Beach Police officer was dispatched for a report of a white van stopped at the intersection of 37th Ave. South and South Highway 17, according to a news release from city spokesman Pat Dowling.
The driver was unresponsive and resting against the steering wheel, the release states. The passenger was also unresponsive in the front passenger seat. The vehicle was still in drive and the driver had his foot on the brake pedal.
The officer knocked on the window, but was unable to wake the driver, according to Dowling. The officer was able to briefly wake the passenger. The officer told the passenger to put the van in park, but he gave the officer a confused look, reached over, adjusted the radio, and then passed out. The officer briefly woke the passenger a second time, who said he was fine, then passed out again.
The driver began to slowly wake up, and the officer again instructed the driver to put the van in park. The driver was "extremely lethargic and appeared confused and disoriented," the release states.
The driver disregarded the officer, and began to roll forward through the intersection, the release states. The officer radioed for backup, then maneuvered behind the van. The van drifted to the right and struck the curb several times, nearly striking several utility poles. The van drifted through several lanes, then collided with a Ford pickup truck. The van continued off the roadway, struck a utility pole, traveled down an embankment, then came to a stop along the edge of a pond.
Officers removed the driver, later identified as Kajuan Divine Jefferson, and the passenger from the vehicle. The passenger complained of pain "all over his body" and was taken to a nearby hospital.
The release states that Jefferson took a breathalyzer and had a blood-alcohol content of .15, nearly twice the legal limit. He was placed under arrest for DUI, failure to stop, and traveling left of center, and was taken to the North Myrtle Beach Jail.
The occupants of the Ford pickup truck that was struck were taken to a nearby hospital.