Man charged with aggravated vehicular assault after pregnant woman injured in wreck

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   A 43-year-old man was arrested last week and charged with several offenses including DUI and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle after he was involved in a traffic accident that left a pregnant woman injured.
   Michael Ray Feathers, 109 Mayfield Drive, was arrested Tuesday just before 10 p.m. and charged with DUI, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, violation of the implied consent law and failure to maintain the lane of travel.
   According to reports, Feathers was operating a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck and was driving west bound on West Elk Avenue when he struck another vehicle, a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier, which then collided with a utility pole. Cheryl L. Moore, of Lewisville, Tx., was the driver of the Chevrolet. She was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center by Carter County Rescue Squad personnel.
   Moore was in the mid-term of her pregnancy, according to an accident report by Elizabethton Police Department Sgt. John Ramsey, who states in his report that he "was advised by attending medical personnel that she (Moore) was in stable condition and that her pregnancy did not appear to have been compromised." Moore was later released from the hospital according to Johnson City Medical Center personnel.
   Ramsey states in his report that when he arrived at the accident scene on West Elk Avenue near Nunley's Furniture Store, he saw that the Cavalier had run into the utility pole and the driver of that vehicle was being attended by medical personnel. "I saw that there was damage to the left rear of the car which could not have been caused by the impact with the utility pole," Ramsey states in his report. "At that time, a male subject approached me and told me that he thought he had hit the car, but didn't really know what happened."
   At that time, according to the report, Ramsey and the male subject, later identified to be Feathers, walked approximately one-tenth of a mile up the road to where Feathers had stopped the truck that he was driving. "He said that he noticed that there was a problem with it after the impact and pulled over as soon as he felt he could safely do so," the report states. According to the report, the truck Feathers was driving suffered damage to the front passenger side portion of the vehicle.
   Feathers stated to Ramsey that he was traveling westbound on West Elk Avenue in the inside lane when Moore pulled out in front of him and that he had been unable to avoid contact. "When I later spoke to (Moore), she said that Feathers' vehicle had overtaken hers in her lane of travel (the outside lane), at a high rate of speed, striking her vehicle and forcing it into the utility pole," Ramsey states in his report. "The damage to the two vehicles was consistent with Moore's account of the incident and indicates that Feathers attempted to avoid the collision by steering left, but did so too late to avoid striking (Moore's vehicle)." According to the report, Ramsey found "gouge marks" in the pavement that were located approximately four feet from the center line in the outside lane of travel, showing that Feathers had been in the outside lane of travel at the time the accident occurred.
   "Moore also told me that at the time of the collision, she was attempting to turn into the parking lot to her right in order to turn around," Ramsey states in the report. "Thus, though the impact between her car and the utility pole was consistent with a high speed impact, her vehicle was traveling below the posted speed limit of 35 mph. This fact indicates that (Feathers' vehicle) was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of impact."
   Ramsey states in his report that while he was speaking with Feathers, he exhibited behavior consistent with an impaired driver and subsequently performed poorly on field sobriety tests that Ramsey asked him to perform.
   While speaking with Ramsey, Feathers stated several times that he "did not intend to flee the scene," though Ramsey gave no indication that he believed that Feathers had been attempting to flee, according to the report. "Moore also stated that Feathers continued on, not attempting to stop," Ramsey states in his report. "It is evident from her statement that Feathers intended to flee the scene, but was unable to do so because of the damage sustained by his vehicle."
   Feathers is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court today to face the charges placed against him in connection with this vehicle accident.