PolkCountyToday.com is reporting that alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in an early Saturday evening accident involving a Hardin County man. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 190 near the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation, between Woodville and Livingston.
The report said Michael Helegda, 38, of Kountze, was driving a Chevrolet Traverse SUV and crossed the center-line, side-swiping a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, driven by William Jefferson, 43, of Spring.
Helegda’s SUV went off the highway and slammed head-on into a tree, while Jefferson’s truck went off the highway and rolled upside-down.
Fortunately, Jefferson wasn’t injured, but Helagda was transported to Livingston Memorial Hospital for treatment. The severity of his injuries are not known.
The report noted that prior to the accident, 911 dispatchers had received several reports of Heledga driving recklessly, and he also reportedly hit another vehicle prior to the crash, but did not stop.
State Troopers said Helegda, who smelled heavily of alcohol, was given a citation for driving with an invalid license and is also expected to be charged with driving while intoxicated after he is released from the hospital.