Deputy charged with DUI crashes on busy Walnut Road - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Deputy charged with DUI crashes on busy Walnut Road

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- A Hamilton County deputy is facing a DUI charge after crashing his truck into a ditch in Hixson Friday night.

The crash happened on a sharp curve on Walnut Road.

Neighbors say it is a busy road and they are thankful no one was seriously injured in the crash.

"Normally this road's pretty busy and he could have clipped somebody," says James Carter

Just after nine o'clock Friday night, in the middle of some strong storms, 47-year-old Hamilton County Deputy Thomas 'Mike' Fulmer was off-duty, driving east on Walnut Road in his Ford F-250.

He lost control on a curve, the tire marks still in a front yard, a mailbox knocked to the ground. Glass still covers the side of the road.

"Took out the signs and basically we were told that if the bank wasn't there they'd been up in the porch pretty close, that he was going pretty quick," says Carter.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the accident. Fulmer refused medical treatment at the scene and was arrested for driving under the influence.

James Carter stays at the house next door from time to time. A BMX bike racer, he knows all too well the dangers of mixing drinking and driving.

"My teammate lives here and he does sprints on this road everyday to get ready for races. You know, what if it was one of them?"

The posted speed limit on Walnut Road is 30 miles per hour. The arrest report did not indicate how fast Deputy Fulmer was traveling. He was going fast enough to lose control and flip his truck.

"It's unfortunate," says Carter. "They have their lives too. And when they're not on duty, they're kind of like us, so. But obviously they've got a little bit more rules to play by then we do."

He is just glad it did not turn out worse.

"The good thing is, nobody got hurt. Hopefully he'll learn from it."

A friend of Deputy Fulmer stopped by the accident scene while we were filming.

He did not want to go on camera, but says he has known Fulmer for 20 years and says he is respected in the community and this was an "honest mistake."

Fulmer is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

He is set to appear in court, March 19th.

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