A 39-year-old man accused of crashing his truck into the side of Rock Hill home Sunday night has been charged with driving under the influence and he may face other criminal charges after police say he had – just minutes earlier – hit two other drivers and fled, according to law enforcement records.
Police say the man is in critical condition at a Charlotte hospital. He was airlifted from the wreck scene on Evergreen Circle, off Cherry Road, after he was ejected from his truck during the collision, officials said.
The driver – the only person in the truck at the time – sustained life-threatening injuries, police say.
Officers charged Jason Robert Thompson after an accident reconstruction team alleged Thompson had marijuana in his car and smelled of alcohol at the time of the wreck, a Rock Hill police incident report states.
Thompson’s pickup truck struck the side of a home around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, police say. Investigators believe Thompson lost control of the truck after disregarding a stop sign, barreling through the front yard of a neighboring house, and passing through a portion of a tree line between the homes.
Police say he was not wearing a seat belt and the driver’s side door was not properly secured.
Driver heard crash while calling 911
At least one person heard the accident – the woman who police say Thompson rear-ended just minutes earlier during a minor traffic collision at the intersection of Cherry Road and Charlotte Avenue. The wreck scenes are less than 1 mile apart.
The other driver, Katie Hefner of Rock Hill, said she pulled over into the road median on Charlotte Avenue after Thompson allegedly hit her.
Thompson is accused of hitting Hefner’s car and fleeing just before crashing his truck on Evergreen Circle, police records show.
Hefner says the low-speed collision happened just after the traffic light at Charlotte and Cherry turned green, allowing her to proceed in her Dodge Charger. At about the middle of the intersection, she said, her car was struck from behind.
The driver of the trailing vehicle “sped off” and turned right onto a street in the neighborhood where the truck eventually rammed into the house, Hefner said. She said she heard the crash while she was on the phone with 911.
Hefner estimates about two minutes passed between her car being hit and her hearing the crash.
She told the 911 dispatcher she was going to investigate the noise and soon saw a truck’s tail lights in someone’s yard. Next door, a man and woman stepped outside to investigate the noise, too, Hefner said.
Hefner said she stayed in her car until police arrived. One neighbor she spoke with afterward described the truck driver has bloodied and injured.
Before the wrecks on Cherry Road and Evergreen Circle, police believe Thompson may have been involved in another car collision – on East Main Street, just outside downtown Rock Hill. Thompson is accused of a rear-end hit-and-run in that case, police records show.
It appears the other drivers involved in the Sunday night wrecks were not seriously injured.
Thompson was transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte via medical helicopter, which landed nearby at Winthrop University’s athletic Coliseum parking lot.
The DUI case remains active, according to police. Officers sent a blood sample from Thompson to the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division for drug and alcohol testing.