NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — A Longs woman was charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain proof of insurance after North Myrtle Beach authorities said she struck a utility pole and pizza business sign, and police closed a portion of U.S. 17 South for several hours early Friday.
Tristen Nicole Ice, 27, was charged after she was taken to the hospital following the crash about 1:15 a.m. Friday, according to a North Myrtle Beach police report.
The crash forced the closure of U.S. 17 South between 33rd and 37th avenues south for most of Friday morning. Officials reopened one northbound lane of the highway about 6:30 a.m. and then reopened all lanes about 11:30 a.m., according to traffic advisories.
An officer was on patrol in the area of 20th Avenue South and U.S. 17 when he saw the street lights flicker and then heard dispatchers receive a call about the crash, according to the report. When the officer arrived, he found Ice with an Atlantic Beach police officer, a broken utility pole and the sign to Kings Pizza smoking and possibly on fire.
Ice told police that she had left work at a pub and was on her way home when she texted a friend and was not paying attention and struck the pole, according to the report. Ice told police she had maybe two alcoholic drinks while at work.
The officer performed a sobriety test before Ice was taken to the hospital and noted her eyes were not steady, according to the report. Ice later told officers she had “maybe four mixed drinks in approximately five hours.”
Police estimated valued the damage to the utility pole at about $6,000 and damage to Kings Pizza sign at $10,000.
The Atlantic Beach officer told the North Myrtle Beach officer that when he arrived at the crash scene he saw Ice attempting to leave in a taxi cab and he stopped her, according to the report. The officer also noted she asked the taxi driver for some mints.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.