SAFFORD — A DUI charge might be coming for a man who crashed his truck into a storage building at the Safford Dairy Queen.
Early Saturday morning, Jan. 11, Safford Police officers were dispatched to Dairy Queen, where a white pickup truck had run into the storage building attached to the restaurant. According to a police report, a male subject was standing by the truck’s driver’s side. The man then reportedly walked around to the passenger side, entered the truck and crawled over to the driver’s seat.
The man, later identified as Fernando Hawkins, told police he was driving when the crash occurred. Hawkins initially said the truck had turned suddenly, and reportedly showed signs of intoxication. Upon further questioning, he reportedly admitted showing off for a female passenger by accelerating the truck as he pulled into Dairy Queen. Hawkins said he “felt something slip on the truck,” then crashed into the building.
A female subject had run from the scene, but stopped after an officer sounded his air horn twice. The female also said Hawkins was driving; she was briefly detained, then released. At one point, Hawkins removed his jacket to give it to her, and officers observed a red mark across his chest consistent with a passenger side seat belt. Hawkins allegedly said the mark was made earlier.
Hawkins reportedly said he and the female subject were at Blue Ponds Friday night, and that he had been drinking. Asked how much he had to drink, Hawkins reportedly gave varying answers. He declined to take a portable breath test, but was arrested for driving under the influence after failing a series of field sobriety tests.
The truck was towed from the scene, and Hawkins was taken to the Safford Police Department, where he consented to a blood draw. He was subsequently released to a family member. The blood sample went to DPS for testing, and the police report was forwarded to the city attorney for review.