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  • The State Journal-Register

    Springfield-area man who is part-time police officer slams Jeep into school, leaves scene

    By Steven Spearie, Springfield State Journal- Register,


    A Waverly man who serves as a part-time officer for the Virden Police Department was cited for failing to report an accident after his Jeep Wrangler slammed into Waverly High School on April 12.

    Donald J. McIntire, 53, of the 400 block of West Tremont Street has a May 6 appearance in Morgan County court in Jacksonville.

    Morgan County Sheriff Mike Carmody, reached by The State Journal-Register, confirmed that deputies reported "a strong odor of alcohol" in the Jeep's interior and that McIntire was drinking when deputies interviewed him later at his house.

    According to a police report provided by Carmody, McIntire told deputies that he couldn't find his phone to call 911 after the crash, so he walked home because he was scared and looking for help.

    McIntire insisted he was sober at the time of the crash. McIntire, who was driving westbound on Temple Street and crossed North Miller Street, said he swerved to avoid a collision with "a bunch of deer and dogs" in the road.

    McIntire stated he had a case of beer in the trunk of the jeep and started drinking on his way home. He told deputies that he had drunk around 10 beers and consumed "a large amount of vodka" before deputies arrived at his home.

    The 911 call came into dispatch at 11:35 p.m. on April 12 from a witness who saw McIntire's Jeep traveling at a high rate of speed and heard the crash. The witness observed someone trying unsuccessfully to back out the Jeep from the wreck.

    According to the report, deputies arrived on the scene at 11:52 and were en route to McIntire's home by midnight.

    Carmody said it would have been "difficult" for deputies then to administer a field sobriety test to McIntire.

    The report noted that McIntire appeared to be "heavily intoxicated" while talking to deputies.

    McIntire also appeared to contradict himself in the report, deputies noted, saying initially that he wasn't driving the Jeep. He said he tried to call police, but a deputy pointed out there was no record of a call.

    McIntire was examined by EMS workers but refused hospital treatment.

    An SJ-R reporter was told April 18 that Virden police chief Steven Snodgrass wouldn't be in the office until Monday.

    Brandi Bruley, the superintendent for Waverly schools, said late Friday that there was no immediate damage figure.

    Bruley said Joe Petty of JHPetty Architects in Springfield told her there was "no structural damage" to the building.

    An English Language Arts class that was meeting in the classroom, Bruley said, has relocated.

    No one was in the school at the time of the crash, she said.

    Waverly is about 40 minutes southwest of Springfield.

    Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788;; X,

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