Police: Driver Snorted Heroin Before Flipping Van, Narrowly Missing Bystanders
The driver of a van that flipped in Covington on Sunday, narrowly missing bystanders, admitted to police that he snorted heroin in the vehicle shortly before crossing the highway into Kentucky from Cincinnati.
Dennis Burdell Meece, 35, was arrested Sunday and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and first degree wanton endangerment.
According to a police report obtained by The River City News through the Kentucky Open Records Act, Meece told officers that he began to nod off near the intersection of Third & Philadelphia Streets in Covington and was unaware that he crashed his van until waking in the parking lot of the nearby Hampton Inn where the vehicle came to a rest on its side.
Witnesses told officers on the scene that the van jumped the curb and came through the bushes near the hotel's parking lot and then launched itself off the retaining wall into the parking lot. The van struck two parked motorcycles. One of the motorcycles' owners told an officer that he was standing at the back of his bike when he heard or saw the van coming at him and he was able to avoid being struck by just over a foot.
Meece was observed exiting the van through the rear hatch. According to the police report, a responding officer did not detect the smell of alcohol but suspected that Meece was under the influence of one or more narcotics. At the hospital, Meece refused to consult with an attorney and told a Covington Police officer that he had snorted $20 worth of heroin inside the van just off Paddock Road in Cincinnati just before driving to the highway to come to Kentucky.
Meece is expected to appear in court on August 19.
Michael Monks, editor & publisher
Photo: Meece (via Kenton Co. Detention Center) and scene of crash (by RCN's Brian Frey)