Accused DUI driver arrested after woman witnesses Lebanon crash, throws car keys


LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man accused of driving drunk was arrested earlier this week in Wilson County, thanks to a good Samaritan who followed him, threw away his keys, and called police.

It all began Monday morning when Marla Warren was driving home with her 16-year-old.

She said the other driver, now identified as Donald Rye, 54, cut her off.

“I noticed he was driving erratic, getting into on coming traffic. He was slowing down and speeding up and putting on his right blinker,” Warren told News 2.

She says a drunk driver killed her brother at the age of 12, so she wasn’t about to let this man hurt anyone.

“He was on the wrong side of the road several times, and it looked like he was aiming at cars,” Warren said.

“Oh my goodness, he is going to hit someone head on,” she recalled thinking.

Warren added, “I have children. Others have children. Something was wrong, and I was afraid he was going to kill someone.”

After several agonizing moments, Warren told News 2 she watched as the man drove into the gas pumps at Cooksey’s Market on Carthage Highway.

“It was very scary. I didn’t know what was wrong with him. He had a wild look on his face. So I get out of the car, and approach and ask, ‘Are you okay?’ And he looks at me dazed and confused and says, ‘No,'” she said.

Warren says she then saw a big bottle of open alcohol.

“And he went to hide that, pulled out a coke, and showed me some pills he’d been taking and said he’d been to the dentist taht day,” she explained.

“I told him he wasn’t going anywhere and took his keys and threw them out into the street. Well he didn’t like that very much,” she continued.

Deputies arrived on the scene and report they found an open 40 oz. beer inside Rye’s car. They also reportedly found pill bottles containing Lexapro and Ambian.

Rye was taken into custody and charged with DUI. News 2 went to his home to get his side of the story but he refused to talk and ordered us to leave.

Warren says she’s glad she acted the way she did.

“I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I found out later a family of four got run over by the driver in the white car,” she told News 2.

According to the TBI, Rye has no prior arrest history.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Community Calendar