Texting accident was driver's second
A NASCAR driver charged with DWI, texting while driving and resisting police was involved in a crash seven months ago and used a similar excuse, according to North Carolina DMV records obtained by a Charlotte television station.
Michael Annett, who competes in the Nationwide Series for Rusty Wallace Racing, was cited about 1:30 a.m. ET Sunday in Mooresville, NC, after he ran into another car in Mooresville early Sunday, according to police records obtained by WCNC. There were no injuries reported.
According to Mooresville Police Capt. Phil Blocker, the 24-year-old driver said he wrecked because he was texting while driving. "He said when he looked up, he wasn't able to stop in time," Blocker said.
Annett gave the same reasons in July, according to records obtained by WCNC. Annett is quoted in a DMV crash report as saying "on the cell phone" and "could not stop in time" were the reasons he was cited for an incident in Charlotte in which he rear-ended a car that subsequently rear-ended the car in front of it.
Mooresville Police Officer J.J. Sasso, who witnessed Annett's accident Sunday, said he immediately checked on the occupants of both cars and, according to his report, saw Annett "shoving breath mints into his mouth as I approached the car."
Police said Sasso asked another officer to give Annett a breath alcohol test, and, according to the report, the driver had an alcohol level of .32, which is four times the state's legal limit of .08.
A 21-year-old female was a passenger in Annett's 2011 Toyota, according to the police report; the car he hit, a 2004 Chevrolet, contained four people.
Annett, released from Iredell County jail after posting a $3,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in Iredell County district court on March 18.
According to a statement released by his team, Annett said:
"I am deeply remorseful for my actions and my extreme lack of judgment. I let down my team, my sponsors, my fans and my family; I sincerely apologize to everyone that I hurt.
"This was truly a life-changing moment for me. Despite all of the negativity that will undoubtedly arise from it, I'm going to strive to use this incident as the impetus to make a lot of positive changes in my life."
NASCAR would say only that it is gathering information.