Father arrested for DUI with special needs child in back seat

(Courtesy: Belle Meade Police)

BELLE MEADE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Kentucky man was arrested for DUI after he crashed through concrete barriers with his special needs child in his truck.

It happened in Belle Meade last Sunday afternoon, October 8, on Belle Meade Blvd.

(Courtesy: Belle Meade Police)

Police say Todd Shouse crashed his work truck, destroying thick, heavy concrete posts just outside a large estate. The truck’s front end was torn apart and the side was caved in.

After the wreck, the 52-year-old man did a field sobriety test in which he reportedly blew a point 3-1-7, more than 3 times the legal limit.

And police say, riding in the back seat was his intellectually challenged 17-year-old daughter.

That concerned Belle Meade Police Chief Tim Eades. “She has an intellectual disability. We were having trouble communicating with her,” said Eades. “We had EMS come to the scene. They checked her out and she didn’t appear to have any physical injuries.”

Belle Meade traffic video caught the truck a few moments before the crash. Police say the video shows the truck rolling down the middle of Harding Pike approaching Belle Meade Blvd.

The speed limit on Belle Meade Blvd. is 35 mph. Police do not know how fast the truck was going when it left the roadway. But it was going fast enough to hit 4 concrete posts, breaking them off their foundations.

According to the arrest affidavit, the driver admitted to drinking 1 beer at lunch and an unknown number of vodka drinks.

According to police, the driver was unsteady on his feet and officers said he was crying a lot.

The affidavit indicates that after the breath-a-lyzer Shouse told officers he had a previous DUI in Kentucky when he was 39 years old, some 13 years earlier.

Chief Tim Eades says he is troubled by several aspects of the wreck. “Endangering his daughter’s life, especially if she has a disability – imagine how frightening this was. It’s frightening enough when you understand what is going on, but then when you have trouble interpreting what is going on around you, I’m sure it frightened her more than the average person.”

Mr. Shouse is currently facing DUI charges.

But police say it’s possible the DA could bring more charges related to the child being in the truck at the time of the wreck.

Todd Shouse was driving a company truck at the time of the wreck. We called the Hopkinsville company where he works, but the owner had no comment.