CORNVILLE -- 34-year-old Ryan Matson from Cornville was arrested about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday after a passenger in his vehicle was impaled by a fence post during an alleged DUI crash.
Matson fled but was arrested at his home for failure to remain at an accident scene, DUI, endangerment, and criminal damage. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and remains in-custody.
Deputies were dispatched to the 1000 block of North Page Springs Road, Cornville, after a crash involving a 2007 BMW Z3 convertible sedan. The BMW's driver eventually stopped in the parking lot of the nearby Verde Valley Fire Department and then fled. His passenger, a male of unknown age and residence, remained in the vehicle and was suffering from a 1-inch pipe impaled through his chest. Fire personnel treated the injured man before he was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center.
His condition was initially listed as non-life threatening.
Deputies identified the driver as Ryan Matson and found him at his home in the 11000 block of Oak Run Lane in Cornville. When contacted, deputies could smell the strong odor of alcohol on Matson. Additionally, Matson's speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and watery, indicators he had been driving under the influence.
Matson told deputies he left a nearby restaurant with a male passenger, whom he could not identify, heading to Cornville. He took a corner too fast on Page Springs Road, went off the pavement and crashed.
Once he realized his passenger had been impaled by a fence rail, he drove to the fire station so the man could be treated.
Matson suffered only a small scratch as a result of the crash. He failed DUI tests including a Drug Recognition Expert evaluation, and was arrested. Blood test results are pending.
It appears the passenger was impaled by the top rail of a chain link fence at the crash site. It was estimated that at least 100-feet of fencing had been damaged.
Dwight D'Evelyn, the media relations coordinator for the sheriff's office, said the investigation into the accident is ongoing and has been assigned to YCSO's Serious Collision Team.
"Flagstaff Medical Center has reported that the fence post was removed from the patient during surgery and he is currently listed in stable condition," said D'Evelyn.