NWGA Scanner | October 8th, 2022
According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On September 26th, 2022, at 6:15 PM, Officer Dutton and Officer Sangphim were dispatched to a vehicle crash that occurred at Burton Road and Wilshire Road. Both vehicles pulled off the roadway and were waiting on the officer’s arrival. According to the report, Amanda Howell, who was the driver of the white Chevy Trailblazer, failed to maintain her lane while turning left onto Burton Road from Wilshire Road., Tiffany Danielle Whatley, 38, of Rome, who was the driver of the red Kia Optima, failed to come to a complete stop before crossing the designated stop line while heading east on Burton Road. Officer Dutton reported, “We observed skid marks at the stop sign that were 4ft-6ft in length, indicating that she had to slam on her brakes to come to a complete stop. Ultimately Tiffany’s failure to yield the right of way and stop at the designated stop line was the proximate cause of the crash.” When Floyd County Dispatch responded with information on the parties involved in the crash, they advised that the passenger in the Kia Optima, Joseph Franklin Smith Jr., 34, of Rome, had an active arrest warrant. Officer Sangphim and Officer Lanier arrived to assist. While speaking with Smith and Whatley officer observed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the inside of the vehicle. According to the report, “Officer Lanier discovered an open container in the floorboard of the passenger area and a loaded .22 caliber handgun in the center console of the vehicle. Officer Sangphim and Officer Dutton discovered Whatley was in possession of multiple dangerous drugs. Whatley was also placed under arrest. Whatley and Smith were both transported to Floyd Medical Center to be cleared from the crash to then be transported to the Floyd County Jail. Whatley also provided a blood draw due to her being suspected of DUI, resulting in her part in the crash. Whatley and Smith were both booked into jail, charged with possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, drugs not in original container, possession of dangerous drugs, DUI, possession of a weapon during the course of a crime, and a stop sign violation. According to the arrest records, Smith was Alsop arrested for DUI on September 10th, 2022.