A member of the El Dorado City Council was cited Tuesday afternoon in a hit-and-run accident that resulted in property damage.
Alderman Billy Blann — who represents Ward One, Position Two — admitted that he drove way from the scene after he dozed off and struck a utility pole in the area of Faulkner and Yocum.
However, Blann said he did not realize he had broken the law by leaving the scene because there were no injuries or any other vehicles involved in the accident.
“It was a one-car accident. I called my wife. I called Entergy. I did not call the police. I was not hurt and the neighbors came out and helped me. I was out there for 20 minutes,” he said.
Officers were called to the scene at just before 4 p.m.
A witness reported that an SUV that was traveling east on Faulkner veered into the opposite lane of traffic as it neared the intersection with Yocum.
The witness said the SUV then left the road and struck the utility pole, snapping it in half.
Capt. Kevin Holt, public information officer for the El Dorado Police Department, said the utility pole belonged to AT&T.
“There were no other utilities on there other than an AT&T system,” Holt said.
Witnesses said the driver, later identified as Blann, remained on the scene and talked with them for several minutes before driving away a short time later.
A witness took down the license plate number of the SUV and provided the information to police, who traced it to Blann’s address in the 1800 block of Calion Road.
Blann told officers he left the scene because he did not want his SUV, a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban, to be towed.
“I dozed off long enough to veer over and crack a telephone pole,” Blann said.
He said the SUV was leaking transmission fluid, but it was drivable.
“I had to get my car out of the middle of the road. I drove it to the Spudnut Shop, and I when it made it there, I tried to see if I could make it home,” Blann explained. “I thought I was saving myself a tow charge, and then the police pulled up. The police were very nice.”
The front end of Blann’s SUV was significantly damaged, according to a police report.
Blann was cited for failure to maintain control and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
“The telephone pole was damaged, and it’s going to have to be fixed. Yeah, it was embarrassing. I take full responsibility for it,” Blann said.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.