Boise County Sheriff’s Deputy David Lee is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 29 on an infraction charge for driving an emergency vehicle without “due regard for the safety of all persons” before a Sept. 14 crash with a motorcycle.
The driver of the motorcycle, 54-year-old Douglas Towell of Ontario, Ore., faces a much more serious charge: felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
According to an Idaho State Police report, Lee was driving his service vehicle, a Ford Explorer, south on Highway 21 about 17 miles south of Idaho City when he saw a vehicle speeding in the opposite direction. Lee turned on his emergency lights and made a U-turn to follow the speeder, according to the report. Towell, who was following Lee on his 1989 Harley Davidson motorcycle, hit the brakes, skidded and lost control.
The motorcycle overturned. Towell and his passenger, 43-year-old Chellus Towell, were thrown from the bike. Both were flown to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. The extent of their injuries is not known.
According to the crash report, Douglas Towell had a blood alcohol concentration of .09 percent and tested positive for marijuana. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 11. The maximum penalties for aggravated driving under the influence are 15 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, restitution and loss of driving privileges for five years.