NWGA Scanner | September 5th, 2022
According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On August 21st, 2022, at 9:22 PM, Deputy Kirby was dispatched to Dawnville Road and Chappell Way for a vehicle crash with injuries. Deputy Kirby observed a white Chevrolet truck in the roadway in his lane of travel facing him with heavy damage on the passenger side of the vehicle and a white Chevrolet Trax partially in the ditch and driveway of a residence facing in his direction, also with very heavy damage. The deputy spoke with the driver of the Chevrolet Trax, Penelope Lynn Ponders, 46, of Dalton. Penelope stated that she was traveling West on Dawnville Road, when a truck came out of nowhere, and she crashed with the vehicle. According to the report, “The evidence on scene showed that the vehicle skidded to a stop in an Eastbound direction of travel. Deputy Kirby got a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath from Penelope. The female driver of the Chevrolet truck stated that she was traveling west on Dawnville Road and intended to make a left-hand turn into a driveway. As the female negotiated the turn, the female stated that a white SUV collided with her passenger side. The female stated that the vehicle was traveling east. The female advised she didn’t have her license on her and that her name was Donna Smith. After further investigation, it was found that she gave a false name and that her actual name was Donna Nichole Carnes, 39, of Ringgold. Donna was found to have a suspended license due to no insurance. The passenger Richard McKinley Ray, 55, showed to have a warrant out of Fort Payne, Alabama, who advised they didn’t wish to place a hold on him. Deputies Kirby and Deaver returned to Penelope, who said that she only had “two beers” when asked how much she had to drink before driving. Penelope stated she had them at work and advised she worked at The Oyster Pub in Dalton. During horizontal gaze nystagmus and field sobriety testing, Penelope showed several signs of impairment. Penelope was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence. Both Penelope and Donna were transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Donna was booked into the jail and charged with failure to yield when turning left and driving on a suspended license. Penelope showed a BrAC of .109 and was charged with DUI.