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Driver arrested after nearly colliding with sheriff

Published: 11:59 AM, 07/13/2012 Last updated: 12:00 PM, 07/13/2012

By Bill Grubb
News Editor

ROGERSVILLE - A Rogersville woman was arrested on drunk driving charges for the second time in less than three weeks, with the latest incident involving a near collision with Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.
    Tonya Michelle Ferrell, 24, 159-B Guntown Road, Rogersville, faces charges of driving under the influence second offense, driving on revoked license and possession of a Schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone) in connection with the July 6 incident.
    On the evening of June 21, Ferrell was arrested by the Rogersville Police Department after being involved in a motor vehicle collision and failing to report the collision.           She appeared to be "intoxicated on controlled substance medications afrer the June arrest, according to a Hawkins County Sheriff's Office press release."
    Ferrell was subsequently placed in custody for driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license and failure to report an accident.  She was released after posting a $2,750 appearance bond pending a July 9 court date.
    On July 6,  Lawson was traveling east on Highway 11W, shortly before 1:30 p.m., when he observed a white Chevrolet Suburban also traveling east "being driven in a reckless manner," the release states.
    "As the Suburban approached along the side of Sheriff Lawson, it crossed over the center line into Sheriff Lawson's travel lane. Sheriff Lawson then had to maneuver his vehicle in order to avoid a collision with the Suburban," the release adds.
     Lawson and Dep. Stacy Vaughan initiated a traffic stop on the Suburban on the access ramp of Highway 70 North.
    The driver of the vehicle was identified as Ferrell and once again she "appeared extremely intoxicated on prescription controlled substance medications" officers reported.
     Ferrell was then found to be in possession of several Suboxone pills which is classified as a schedule III controlled substance.  It was also determined that Ferrell had a previous DUI conviction in January of this year in Sullivan County which had resulted in her driver's license being revoked.
    The woman was placed in custody and processed into the Hawkins County Jail.  She is currently being held on a "no bond" status due to the woman already being free on a previous bond as well as being on probation.
    Ferrell submitted to a drug test, which has been sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for analysis.  Her 2000 Suburban was also seized by the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office.

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