By Liz Shepherd
ROCHESTER — A Rochester man was recently arrested for having THC in his system following a two-vehicle accident in which two people were flown to a hospital for severe injuries.
Scott David Bryant, 31, 6034 Cedar Lane, Rochester, is charged with two counts of causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the body, both level 5 felonies.
On May 30, Fulton County officers, along with fire and medical personnel, went to US 31 and SR 110 regarding a two-vehicle accident resulting in injury. Upon arrival, officers saw a man, later identified as Mark Blessing, lying in a ditch with severe injuries to his head and face. Officers also found a woman, later identified as Merri Hacker, laying in a ditch with severe leg injuries.
According to court documents, two medical helicopters were called to the scene. A witness said he saw a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Bryant, in the median on US 31 and SR 110, waiting to cross US 31 traveling east. Bryant’s vehicle then pulled into the path of a 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Blessing, who was driving the motorcycle; and Hacker, who was a passenger, were both ejected from their vehicle.
Bryant told officers on scene that he did not see the motorcycle due to a blind spot in his vehicle. Bryant was also operating the vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
Officers were unable to speak with Blessing and Hacker on scene due to their injuries.
Officers asked Bryant if he would be willing to take a blood draw. Bryant said he didn’t know if he wanted to or not, stating he smoked marijuana three days prior to the collision. Bryant then agreed to take the blood draw test.
On July 2, the Indiana State Department of Toxicology Drug Analysis report regarding this accident was released. The report showed that Bryant had tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and THC-COOH present in his system.
Hacker is also suing Bryant for damages resulting from the accident. The civil complaint argues that Bryant “was negligent when he failed to maintain a proper lookout, started his vehicle from a stopped position when it was not safe to do so, failed to yield the right-of-way and/or failed to operate his vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.”