Greenwood Officer Pulled Over And Let Go By Lavaca Police Minutes Before DWI Crash

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LAVACA (KFSM) -- A Greenwood police officer who turned in his resignation on Monday (Aug. 28) amid an internal investigation into a DWI arrest was pulled over just minutes before he crashed.

Officer Regan Whitworth was arrested on a DWI charge in Lavaca on Sunday (Aug. 27). According to police reports, Whitworth was driving a vehicle on Rodeo Arena Road in Lavaca when he attempted to negotiate a right hand curve but left the roadway, crossed a ditch and hit an embankment. The report states the vehicle also struck a utility pole, breaking it in half.

The report states the vehicle then continued on, traveled across a grassy patch and came to rest.

Arkansas State Police arrested Whitworth on suspicion of Driving While Under the Influence.

The report states a male passenger was in the car with Whitworth.

Twenty minutes prior to the crash the same vehicle was spotted making a U-turn near the area, said Phil Beshoner, Lavaca police chief. He said Lavaca reserve officer Scott McDonald stopped the vehicle and performed a welfare check on the driver but did not smell alcohol at the time. The chief also said there was no probable cause to retain the driver.

"Our officer stated he did not get any indication that he was under the influence and if he would have, he would have contacted a supervisor directly," said Assistant Police Chief Charles Toon. "We do the best job we can do out here and sometimes we just don't pick up on all the clues."

Whitworth was booked into the Sebastian County Jail, and he registered with a .10 blood alcohol level, according to the Arkansas State Police report.

Whitworth had been employed as an officer with Greenwood Police Department since September 2011.