Updated June 21
The driver of a Toyota Highlander faces drinking and driving and other charges after a crash in Vineyard Haven left a roadside garage partially smashed.
Aurora Austin pleaded not guilty Monday morning in Edgartown District Court to OUI, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and marked lanes violation charges brought by Tisbury Police. Austin was arrested Saturday morning in the parking lot of Harbor Landing Resort after allegedly failing field sobriety tests and a preliminary Breathalyzer test. Austin was given a bail warning, and released on personal recognizance.
At about 5:30 am Saturday, Tisbury Police were called to AA Island Auto Rentals at Five Corners for a report of a property damage hit-and-run by a Toyota Highlander. While en route, officers learned the driver of the Highlander called to relay that she’d been involved in an accident, a report indicates.
Police located the motorist outside Harbor Landing Resort, which is a short distance away from the damaged garage.
Tisbury Police Officer Pierce Harrer noticed “a large amount of damage” to the Highlander, a report states.
Austin allegedly told police “she glanced at her cell phone, resulting in her inability to properly navigate the slight curve onto Beach Street,” a police report states.
Police repeatedly asked Austin if she required medical attention, but she declined, according to a report.
“Despite both Ms. Austin and I,” Officer Harrer wrote in a report, “standing outside on a breezy morning, I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her person.The odor increased as she spoke. I observed Ms Austin’s eyes to be extremely bloodshot and glassy, and her speech was thick-tongued and slightly slurred; she swayed back and forth while standing.”
Austin denied consuming alcohol, according to a report.
Austin allegedly consented to a preliminary breath alcohol test which allegedly resulted in a test result of .159. Later at the Dukes County Jail, a subsequent test allegedly showed a .14 result.
Reached by phone Monday afternoon, Austin’s attorney, Drew Segadelli, said his client was forthright in calling police. Segadelli characterized the incident as a “relatively minor collision” stemming from inattentiveness.
Tisbury Fire Chief Greg Leland responded to the scene, and previously told The Times the motorist didn’t require extrication and didn’t appear to suffer injury. Representatives from Tisbury’s building department and from Eversource also responded to the scene, according to a report.
Austin is expected back in court on July 16.