Driver in fatal crash on 6th DUI

-A A +A

Includes three convictions in Roane, one each in Rhea, Morgan counties

By Damon Lawrence

An Aug. 19 wreck that claimed the life of a Rockwood woman wasn’t the first time Johnny R. Foland has been charged with driving under the influence.
Trooper Mike Beaty noted on the warrant that it was Foland’s sixth DUI offense.

The fatal crash was on Eagle Furnace Road around 7 p.m. Beaty said when he arrived he saw a Chrysler Sebring that had struck a utility pole and a tree.
“The vehicle had also overturned and an occupant in the vehicle was found deceased,” the warrant said.
The deceased passenger was identified as 54-year-old Teri L. Stephenson. Foland was not around when the trooper got to the scene.
“A witness identified Mr. Foland as fleeing the vehicle after it crashed,” the warrant said.
Foland, 50, was located at his residence at 111 Bournemouth Drive, Rockwood. He’s charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, DUI sixth offense, driving on a revoked license fourth offense, violation of implied consent and leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality.   
According to Roane County Criminal Court records, Foland was indicted on June 17, 2008, for assault, DUI fifth offense and driving while license cancelled, suspended or revoked.
The indictment said he had two previous DUI convictions in Roane County, one in Rhea County and one in Morgan County.
Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Guy McGuckin was listed as the prosecuting officer in the indictment. The charges stemmed from an Oct. 9, 2006, arrest.
McGuckin said he was on patrol in Kingston when he observed Foland speeding in a Ford Contour.
“I asked the driver if he had been drinking,” the warrant said. “He replied, ‘Are you (expletive) retarded?’ I then asked him for his driver’s license. He stated that he hadn’t had one since 1983.”
McGuckin said Foland became unruly when he tried to put him in a holding cell at the county jail, swinging at him and scratching his face.
As part of a deal, Foland was allowed to plead guilty to DUI third offense in that case, court records show. The assault and driving while license cancelled, suspended or revoked charges were dismissed.
“I do not have an independent recollection of that without digging the file out and looking at it,” prosecutor Bill Reedy said, when asked about Foland’s plea deal. 
Foland is scheduled to appear in court on the latest charges next month.
He was still in custody at the Roane County Jail Tuesday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office website.  
Stephenson had two children, according to her obituary.