DUFF, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Grace Cross recently responded to a call on Highway 25W north of La Follette of a possible wreck with injury. When she arrived just before 4am on July 28, she found Derek Waldrop. He reported the accident happened when he was coming around a curve, and he lost control of the vehicle and hit the metal railing near Peabody Mountain. Cross noticed that his speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet using the vehicle to balance himself. She also detected an odor of alcohol coming from his breath, according to a report from the sheriff’s office.
Cross did a pat down of Waldrop and found two Ziploc baggies containing ammo for a 22 long rifle. On his right hip was an empty gun holster. Waldrop stated that the gun was at his grandfathers in Jellico. A check of his license revealed a revoked driver’s license due to prior DUI’s. A warrant check revealed three warrants for his arrest. At this point, Waldrop was placed into custody and Cross inventoried his vehicle. According to the report she found five bottles of 99 proof shots and a bigger bottle of the same 99 proof that was still cold and wet to the touch. He was asked if he had been drinking, and he allegedly replied that the bottles were old and he had forgotten to get rid of them. Also found was an unlabeled bottle of pills that he reported were old, and he had forgotten to get rid of them. A second bottle of pills was located in the vehicle that he stated were prescribed to him and they were Gabapentin’s. Cross found a GSG 22 caliber handgun with 1 bullet in the chamber and ten bullets in the magazine over the metal railing while searching for anything that could have been discarded by Waldrop. When Cross brought the gun back to the scene, Waldrop allegedly said “you found it didn’t you, I thought I hid it well enough for you not to.” When questioned why he hid it, he allegedly replied several times that “he did not want any trouble and it’s not like he was even using it so why does it matter that he had it on him?”
Cross deemed the area unsafe for field sobriety testing and transported Waldrop to the jail for testing. When they arrived at the jail, he was asked if he would perform a field sobriety test, and he stated that he would not, there was no reason to because he was not that drunk. The Tennessee Implied Consent Law was read to him and a blood sample was taken.
Walrop, 33, of 8532 Childress Rd, Powell, was charged with violation implied consent law, driving while suspended, revoked or cancelled drivers license, driving under the influence (4th offense), possessing a firearm in commission of a felony, possession of schedule V controlled substance, failure to report accident and drivers to exercise due care. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/08/2022-6AM)