AMESBURY – A local man police who police say was high on drugs when he crashed his SUV on Route 110 Friday afternoon, knocking out power to several area residents and businesses, was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail following his arraignment Monday in Newburyport District Court. 

Wallace Thayer Bates III, 40, of 36 Haverhill Road, No. 1301, faces a third driving while under the influence of drugs charge, along with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, a marked lanes violation, destruction of property worth more than $1,200 (four counts) and two counts of leaving the scene of property damage. 

Bates was injured in the crash and was arraigned from his Anna Jaques Hospital bed, while his attorney was in court before Judge Mary McCabe. 

Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy asked McCabe to hold Bates on $10,000 cash bail, but Bates' attorney argued his client could not post anywhere near that amount of cash. McCabe settled on $1,000 cash bail. 

If Bates posts bail, he must remain drug and alcohol free with random screens, and not drive while his case is being resolved. He is due back on July 22 for a pretrial hearing. 

In Kennedy's argument for high cash bail, she described how multiple drivers called 911 after spotting Bates driving "all over the road" around 3:30 p.m. on Route 110 approaching North Martin Road. After hitting a brick wall near a restaurant, Bates slammed into several telephone polls before going airborne and flipping his SUV six times. The crash took down wires, power boxes and poles before the SUV came to rest by a parking lot. 

Bystanders who cut Bates' seat belt so he could get out of the wreck told police he appeared under the influence of something when they spoke to him. When first responders arrived on scene, they noticed several fresh injuries but Bates told them that he "didn't feel any pain," Kennedy said. 

Bates later admitted to police that he took prescribed medication and marijuana before getting into his SUV. 

"This is someone who drove without any regard for the public," Kennedy said. 

According to Kennedy, Bates' last OUI conviction was in 2008. His first OUI arrest was around 2000 in Peabody. 

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

 

 

 

 

 

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