Lovell man drives into Super 8 Motel sign after recent crash on highway


April 21, 2022

POWELL (WNE) — After driving into the Super 8 Motel sign at roughly 30 mph, James Gallagher, 38, of Lovell was arrested on April 5 on charges of unlawful use of toxic substances and driving under the influence. 

Powell Police Department Sgts. Dustin DelBiaggio and Sean Alquist responded to the Super 8 Motel on East Coulter Avenue at 4:30 p.m. following reports of a vehicle collision. 

According to the affidavit, a trail of fluid was leading to Gallagher’s GMC Sierra from the Super 8 Motel sign. A witness said the vehicle crossed both westbound lanes of traffic on East Coulter Avenue before running into the Super 8 Motel sign. 

Gallagher then allegedly parked the vehicle — which was damaged on the front driver’s side — and exited it with a brown paper bag, which he took into Maverik. He returned to the vehicle without the bag. A can of Blow Off Duster aerosol was found in the trash with a brown paper bag. Aerosols dispelled into a contained space can sometimes be inhaled as an intoxicant. 

According to Officer Matt Koritnik, a certified drug recognition expert, “between when the accident occurred and the time the intoxicant was discovered, the effects of the intoxicant had dissipated to a point that an exam or blood tests would not show inhalants.” 

Gallagher was involved in a collision the previous day on U.S. Highway 14A west of Ralston, where he received citations for careless driving and failure to maintain lane of travel, but he claimed to not have used inhalants at that time. 

Gallagher was cited for careless driving on U.S. Highway 14A in February 2022. He is currently out on a $1,000 bond and is not to operate any vehicle at this time.


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