NWGA Scanner | September 24th, 2021
According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on September 18th, 2021, at approximately 5:00 PM, Deputy Schaub and Sergeant Southern responded to the area of I-75 northbound at mile marker 336 in reference to two callers that advised a black truck, later said to be an F150, towing a U-Haul trailer was driving all over the roadway. Two black trucks with U Haul trailers passed by Sgt. Southern and Deputy Schaub around the same time. According to the report, “Sgt. Southern observed a black F150 crossing over the fog line while driving and initiated a traffic stop around the 337-mile marker. Sgt. Southern made contact with the driver, Kelly Hughes Melton, 52, of Blackshear, Georgia, and asked her to step to the back of the trailer. She advised that she had back surgery but consented to exit the vehicle. Sgt. Southern asked Ms. Kelly if she takes any medication, and she stated that she takes Valium for her anxiety as needed, and the last time she took one was yesterday. Ms. Kelly also advised that she had not consumed any alcohol. Sgt. Southern asked Ms. Kelly if she would perform field sobriety testing, and she stated she would. Sgt. Southern then had her sit on the bumper of his patrol vehicle and gave verbal instructions for the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. She stated she understood the instructions.” According to the report, Kelly showed several clues of impairment during field sobriety testing. According to the report, the testing was ended for safety reasons. According to the report, “Sgt. Southern placed Ms. Kelly under arrest, checking her handcuffs for fit and double locking them. She was placed in the patrol car and read the Georgia Implied Consent notice and she consented to a blood test. While searching the vehicle Sgt. Southern found a prescription bottle of hydrocodone in her center console, a daily pill reminder packet containing the following as identified on drugs.com: Sertraline hydrochloride, Gabapentin, Lisinipril, and atorvastatin calcium in her purse, and fifteen Acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate pills were found inside Ms. Kelly’s coin pouch in her purse.” Kelly has then transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Kelly citations for DUI drugs and failure to maintain lane and charged her with drugs to be kept in original container. According to the report, Sgt. Southern spoke with a witness who stated that she had been following the vehicle since the Gordon County line, and the entire time it was failing to maintain its lane of travel and driving off the roadway. At one point, she advised that the truck almost flipped over due to the driving. She stated the driver of the truck appeared to be slumping over while driving.