Video: Deputies question former state senator after possible DWI crash

New Mexico

A former state senator is facing criminal charges after deputies said he crashed his car, then just left it where it was. Investigators believe he was drunk.

“You went straight into the ditch. You went head-on into the ditch,” a deputy said on lapel video.

“I just went too far…I just went too far,” Tim Jennings answered.

Chaves County deputies feared the worst when they found former State Sen. Tim Jennings’ car in a cement ditch just outside of Roswell at 1:30 a.m with no sign of him anywhere. After hours of searching, they finally found him at his house

“You know, when you’re involved in a crash you’re supposed to…” a deputy began.

“I wasn’t in a crash. I was trying to go turn around. Just came home. It’s not very far so…” Jennings said.

“We were worried. We called quite a few people,” the deputy said.

Jennings told officers he crashed when he thought he saw a mountain lion. He then walked home without calling 911.

“Did you call law enforcement or anything?” a deputy asked.

“No,” Jennings said.

“Did you make any attempts?” the deputy asked.

“What, to call? No, I just came home,” Jennings said.

According to a criminal complaint, deputies had a hard time getting Jennings to come to his door. Once he did, they said he smelled of alcohol.

“We were actually knocking pretty hard on your doors,” a deputy said.

“Yeah, came and knocked on your door,” another deputy said.

“Backdoors, too,” the deputies added.

“I was just asleep,” Jennings replied.

Deputies said he did more than $500 in damage to his car — the requirement to notify law enforcement of a crash — Jennings didn’t seem to know his car was in such bad shape.

“You were in a crash and your vehicle is damaged. It has damage to the front end and it was inside the ditch,” a deputy said.

“Damage to the…?” Jennings asked.

“The front end of the vehicle, yeah. It was against the bottom of the ditch,” deputies said.

Jennings has only been charged with failing to report the crash. Investigators said he had already been home too long after the crash, and basically, they couldn’t prove if he had been drinking at the time of the accident.

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