Deputies: Man facing third offense DWI tried to report car stolen after crash

Published: Jul. 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2013 at 3:59 PM CDT
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Thomas Lee Jernigan (Source: Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office)
Thomas Lee Jernigan (Source: Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office)

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Deputies arrested a man they suspect was driving while intoxicated when he reportedly crashed his vehicle, left it and was trying to report it stolen.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said Thomas Jernigan, 28, of Ponchatoula, was arrested for his third offense DWI and other charges early Sunday morning. He was still in jail Monday morning.

According to Sheriff Daniel Edwards, deputies responded to a single-vehicle crash on Pleasant Ridge Road Extension in Hammond around 12:30 a.m. and found no one inside. Reports show the vehicle belonged to Jernigan.

Investigators said they found Jernigan at his home a short time later and he was "obviously intoxicated at the time." They added he was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher and was attempting to report his vehicle was stolen.

Deputies reported their "in-depth investigation" revealed Jernigan was lying about the vehicle theft and was driving it at the time of the crash.

TPSO noted he was also charged with driving under a suspended license and careless operation of a vehicle.

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