Alleged drunk driver crashes Fire Dept. museum

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Image of the wrecked Jeep Grand Cherokee that crashed into the Knoxville Fire Department’s downtown museum over the weekend. Photos submitted by KFD.

A 29-year-old man was allegedly drunk when he crashed a Jeep Grand Cherokee into the Knoxville Fire Department’s downtown museum over the weekend, authorities said.

No one was injured and the Cherokee’s driver, identified as Devon Oneal of Knoxville, was charged with DUI, according to police officials.

The crash happened about 1:54 a.m. Sunday morning when the vehicle “left W. Summit Hill Ave and crashed through our museum, located in the front yard of KFD headquarters station,”said a KFD spokesperson. “The motor vehicle accident did major damage to our museum building. Thankfully, our Steamer Engine Sam B. Boyd was not damaged.”

Knoxville Police Department Officer Christopher Bell wrote in an arrest warrant charging Oneal with DUI that Oneal tried to walk away from police after they helped him from the crashed vehicle.

Oneal was unsteady on his feet, smelled strongly of alcohol, and was slurring his speech, Bell said. He also refused any medical treatment and officers decided not to administer field sobriety tests due to his “resistive behavior.”

“Oneal was read his Miranda warning and he agreed to answer questions,” Bell said. “Oneal stated that he had ‘approximately five shots of Crown Royal’ and stated that he drank it in a parking lot that he was in but he was unable to say which parking lot.”

Oneal also told the officers that he was driving from a nearby hospital to a relative’s house when he crashed, the officer said.

He was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center after he consented to a blood test, court records show.

Devon Oneal

Published on May 10, 2022.