Charges pending following accident

Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 11:20 p.m.

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

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 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 Cpl. 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.

Wooley, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the Grand Am.

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.

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