Concerned Citizen Takes Action In Close Call
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Brownsville woman was arrested and faces multiple drug and DUI-related charges after what witnesses said was a close call with an Edmonson County School bus early this morning, according to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Edmonson County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 4300 block of Veteran’s Memorial Highway in Brownsville around 6:45am this morning for a suspected impaired driver. The Sheriff's Office reported that local dispatch advised that a concerned citizen who called in the complaint, later identified as Cara Atwood of Glasgow, had witnessed an orange Chevy Camaro almost rear-end a school bus, while the bus was stopped to pick up a student.
Officials said that Atwood approached the Camaro, removed the keys, and witnessed the driver who was identified as Denise C. Barnes (38) of Brownsville, attempt to hide what appeared to be pills. Once Deputies arrived on scene, Barnes was placed in the back of a police car where she was seen attempting to hide suspected Xanax bars in the backseat of the cruiser, according to the press release. While Deputies were on scene, they also found what they suspected to be Gabapentin, Tramadol, Valium, and Xanax, and there were also bits of what appeared to be chewed up pills in Barnes’ mouth, according to the Sheriff's Office.
"She was driving erratically behind me for a good while and I began to get concerned," said Atwood, who stated Barnes’ car was directly behind her. "The car wasn't speeding but we were approaching a school bus stop in front of me and I just sort of braced myself because I'd rather the car hit me the than the bus in front me."
Atwood said everyone stopped safely at that bus stop but the next one, not so much.
"The car passed me as the bus was stopped to pick up another child and the car just barely got stopped in time," she said. That's when I got out, pecked on the window, and asked if she was ok. I offered to give her a ride home and the lady said yes. She said she was just tired but you could tell she was on something."
Deputies arrived shortly after and took control of the scene. Other drivers reportedly had also stopped. Atwood said other drivers also had called to complain.
It was also discovered that Barnes was driving on a DUI suspended driver's license. Field sobriety tests were performed and Barnes was arrested and charged with:
She was transported to and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Atwood said she didn't do anything that any other concerned citizen wouldn't have done.
"There were lots of kids on that bus and lots of traffic. I'm just thankful no one got hurt," she said. "I don't deserve any glory out of it, God gets that. I just hope this lady is ok and gets the help she needs."