WESTERLY — A Hope Valley motorcyclist who was injured as he fled from police is facing charges after a hospital toxicology test revealed his blood alcohol content had been more than 3½ times the legal limit when the incident occurred.
The man, Brandon L. Fernald, of 198 Fenner Hill Road, turned himself in to Westerly police late last week. He was charged with eluding police in a high speed pursuit, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content greater than .15, and driving when license is suspended or denied. He was released on a promise to appear for arraignment Sept. 7 in Fourth Division District Court.
Westerly Police Lt. Robert Warner said the department obtained a warrant after a series of events that began on July 26 when a witness reported an erratic driver on a black motorcycle that had just left a business in the Misquamicut area and was traveling at high speed on Weekapaug Road. He was spotted by a patrol officer a short time later heading north on Dunns Corner-Bradford Road.
The officer, who was southbound, turned around to make a traffic stop, but police said Fernald sped up and began crossing into the southbound and breakdown lanes and passed several vehicles. The chase continued and the officer caught up when Fernald slowed suddenly near the entrance to Manfredi Farm and wiped out as he tried to turn onto a dirt road. The police said he suffered upper body injuries.
While at Westerly Hospital for treatment, he agreed to a blood test, which registered a blood alcohol content of .305. The legal limit in Rhode Island for adults is .08.