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Driver arrested after leaving accident scene

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Witnesses saw a Columbus woman try to pick up pieces of her wrecked vehicle before she attempted to leave the scene of an accident.

Donna Jo Thompson, 48, of 2354 Orchard Creek Drive, didn’t make it far before she was arrested following the 8:40 a.m. accident Wednesday on State Road 11 in the Zephyr Village area, police said.

Levi Curry, 22, of Columbus, said he was southbound behind Thompson’s SUV when the woman stopped near Lincoln Street, according to Chief Deputy Maj. Todd Noblitt of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Curry’s car struck the driver’s side rear of Thompson’s vehicle, but no one was injured during the crash, Noblitt said. After Thompson got out of her SUV and began picking up pieces of wreckage, Curry approached her and told her to leave them for investigators, Noblitt said.

With the left rear tire of her Mercury Mariner bent away from the damaged SUV, Thompson’s vehicle made it only a short distance before it veered off the highway and came to a stop, the officer said.

Investigating deputy Gary Knoef reported that when Thompson was apprehended, her driving abilities appeared to be impaired, Noblitt said. The woman was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for a toxicology test before she was taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, he said.

Thompson faces a preliminary charge of leaving the scene of an accident, a Class A misdemeanor. She was released from jail about 1 p.m. Wednesday after posting a $500 cash bond, a jail spokeswoman said.

The office of Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash will await toxicology results before determining what, if any, charges to file.

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