A 23 year old man, who was injured in a one vehicle wreck on Bethel Road Sunday night, left the scene but was found hiding in a ditch over three hours later on Underhill Road.
Trooper Craig Wilkerson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Casimiro Silva, an undocumented immigrant who lives at 1579 Bethel Road, was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated for head trauma, including a laceration to the head.
Central dispatch received the call about the accident at 8:34 p.m.
According to Trooper Wilkerson, Silva was driving north on Bethel Road in a 1994 Chevy Astro van when he failed to negotiate a curve, went off the right shoulder, overcorrected, crossed the center line, and then ran off the left shoulder of the road and struck a tree. Upon impact, the van turned counter clockwise and came to rest facing south just off the road. Silva, whose head struck the windshield, climbed out of the van after the wreck and fled on foot before anyone arrived on the scene. After officers got there and saw blood, they began a search.
Members of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, deputies of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Putnam County Sheriff's Department K-9 unit, DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, and others came to the scene. Some searched on foot through the woods near the crash scene. Others used all terrain vehicles. According to Trooper Wilkerson, the THP provided aviation support with a helicopter. Thermal imaging was used by ground and from the air to aid in the search. Before midnight, Trooper Wilkerson said someone spotted Silva lying in a ditch on Underhill Road.
Silva has been charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, no seatbelt, failing to maintain his lane of travel, failing to give immediate notice of an accident, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and no drivers license. He will be in court on April 25th.