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The Salem man reportedly made the admission at the hospital after Wednesday's wreck.
SAM OWENS | The Roanoke Times
Two people were killed in a fiery crash on I-581 on Wednesday afternoon.]
Friday, June 14, 2013
Salem resident Timothy Darrell Wellons admitted to police that before his involvement in a deadly crash on Interstate 581 on Wednesday he had been drinking alcohol, according to search warrants filed Friday.
Warrants filed in Roanoke Circuit Court state that Wellons, while in the hospital, spoke to a police officer who smelled a "strong odor" of alcohol on his breath and noticed his slurred speech.
The warrant said that Wellons admitted to the officer that before the wreck, while he was at work, he had been drinking alcoholic beverages.
Authorities have said that Wellons, 34, was driving a Ford Taurus north on I-581 when he swerved across two lanes and hit a tractor-trailer. This caused the tractor-trailer to cross the median into the southbound lanes and collide with another tractor-trailer and two other vehicles, police said.
The two tractor-trailer drivers were killed, and another woman was injured in the crash. Wellons was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for injuries from the crash but was released and is being held at the Roanoke City Jail.
Court records show that Wellons is charged with two counts of involuntary vehicular manslaughter.
Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell said Thursday that those charges are placeholders to begin the legal process. He said his office will pursue more serious charges against Wellons, and he will seek grand jury indictments on charges including driving under the influence.
Search warrants from Friday requested Wellons' medical records and lab reports from the hospital, including blood samples for alcohol and drug screens. There was also a warrant to search Wellons' workplace, where police seized a cup and a mug on his desk containing brown liquids.
Zach Crizer contributed information to this report.
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