Live Oak man with previous DUIs one of three injured in crash

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 5:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 5:31 p.m.

A driver with a history of DUIs and driver’s license suspensions was one of three people significantly injured in a crash in Columbia County on Monday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said charges are pending against Earl C. Wooley III, 25, of Live Oak for the 9:20 p.m. crash at U.S. 90 and County Road 252A. He was taken to Shands at Lake Shore in Lake City for treatment of his non-life threatening injuries, according to an FHP crash report.

Wooley’s passenger, Michael Jack Taylor, 43, of Live Oak was taken to the trauma center at Shands at the University of Florida in critical condition with injuries described by those at the scene as life-threatening.

The driver of the other car, Shannon Marie Smith, 27, of McAlpin, was initially taken to Shands at Lake Shore then transferred to Shands at UF with serious injuries.

FHP Corporal Joseph P. Summer said Wooley had just left the County Line Bar when he failed to stop at a stop sign. Wooley was making a left turn onto U.S. 90 from CR 252A in a 1986 Pontiac Grand Am. According to Summer, Wooley pulled into the path of Smith, who was driving a 1995 Isuzu Rodeo.

“Smith’s vehicle did not have sufficient time and distance to avoid colliding into (Wooley’s) front left,” Summer wrote in the report.

Wooley, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the Grand Am. Taylor, who was the only other person in the Grand Am, was not wearing a seatbelt. Summer said Smith was wearing a seatbelt.

As a part of his investigation, Summer determined that Wooley had been driving with a suspended license, had been classified by the state as a habitual traffic violator (in part due to three previous DUIs), had no vehicle registration and no proof of insurance.

Summer also wrote that “Wooley was highly intoxicated as he drove,” the Grand Am.

Charges against Wooley are pending the results of a blood alcohol test and additional investigation, Summer said.

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