You may have seen the pictures released earlier this week of Huntington Beach covered in a white blanket of hail. Weather like that is nearly unheard of out here in sunny California. So we really don’t get some of the same stories you might hear in, say, New Jersey. In one such story, two men tried to use the icy conditions to cover up a DUI accident.
Brian Byers, 24, from Sparta, New Jersey, allegedly ran a stop sign and hit a guardrail with his black 2001 BMW.
It is alleged that, following the collision, Byers drove the BMW to his house, then back to the scene with 20 year old Alexander Zambenedetti, a friend of Byers’. When they arrived, the two of them dumped 5-gallon buckets of water onto the road near the collision to create black ice.
The plan, according to investigators, was to create the black ice so that Byers could claim that it caused the accident, not Byer’s drunk driving.
Unfortunately for the duo, an officer spotted Byers walking toward an idling car in the middle of the road. Zambendetti was found in the driver’s seat without a shirt even though the temperature was one degree. He told the officer that he had taken his shirt off because it had gotten wet when he fell.
The officer also noticed two 5-gallon buckets in the car with water still in them.
Byers confessed the plan to officers. Skid marks were also apparently visible through the thin layer of ice.
Byers was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, careless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, and disorderly conduct. Byers was charged with disorderly conduct because the ice was so bad that the Department of Public Works had to dump a half ton of salt on the street to make it safe.
Zambenedetti was also arrested charged with driving under the influence after he failed several field sobriety tests. He was also charged careless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.
They were clever enough to concoct this creative scheme, even though it didn’t work, but not smart enough to realize that they shouldn’t have been drinking and driving in the first place.