Former USC tailback Demetris Summers was charged with intent to distribute crack cocaine, having a gun illegally and driving under the influence early Tuesday morning in Lexington County.
The Highway Patrol charged Summers after a trooper was called around 4:50 a.m. to a collision involving a suspected drunken driver along Cromer Road, which parallels I-20 and intersects with U.S. 378 in the West Columbia area, according to an incident report.
The silver Honda with Summers and a passenger inside was on the road shoulder with the front driver-side tire off, the report shows. Both men smelled of alcohol and told the trooper they were looking for a lug nut for the wheel. The incident report released to the media does not identify the passenger.
Summers, 31, said he was the driver and that he had consumed one beer. He agreed to field soberity tests, with which the Lexington High School star had difficulty, the trooper wrote in his report.
Never miss a local story.
“Mr. Summers could not keep his balance during the instruction portion (of one of the tests),” the trooper wrote. “During the one leg stand portion ... Mr. Summers put his geet down multiple times, used his arms for balance and swayed.”
A Breathalyzer test showed his blood/alcohol reading to be .02, the report shows. But the officer found about 7 grams of crack cocaine and a .40-caliber Taurus handgun in the Honda.
Lance Cpl. David, a patrol spokesman, said the drug was tested and proved to be crack.
“Due to the poor performance on the (field soberity tests) and the drugs found in the vehicle, I believe Mr. Summers was under the influence of something other than alcohol,” the on-scene trooper wrote.
Summers agreed to go to the county hospital for a urine test. The results are not listed on the incident report.
He was taken to the county jail and booked on charges of intent to distribute crack, unlawfully carrying a firearm and drunken driving first offense.
A highly coveted recruit, Summers played at the University of South Carolina for two years during the 2003 and 2004 seasons under then-coach Lou Holtz. He led the Gamecocks in rushing in 2004 with 487 yards.
His high school career, however, was stellar.
Summers set national records from 1999-2002 and is still ranked among the best nationally. He compiled a four-year varsity career of 9,076 yards rushing and 120 touchdowns, even though he seldom played an entire game. Summers’ rushing yards and TDs still rank 13th nationally.
After breaking the state’s all-time rushing record and becoming a Parade magazine All-American, Summers dreamed of playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game when he signed with USC as a five-star recruit.
Summers’ college career was sidetracked by injuries and marijuana. After coach Steve Spurrier booted him after several positive tests for using marijuana, Summers was out of football for three seasons, working odd jobs and attending a few tryouts.
Summers lasted two weeks at the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp in 2006 before being cut.
He returned to professional football when Calgary coach John Hufnagel took a chance on him after spotting him at a tryout in Orlando. Summers played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League in 2008.