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Small Child Allegedly In Car During FM 1870 Drunk Driving Crash

A 21-year-old Cumby man arrested following a FM 1870 drunk driving crash reportedly lied to the trooper investigating the crash. The driver allegedly claimed there was no child in the car seat in the car during the crash, but was later reported to have called someone who removed the child from the crash site before officials arrived, a trooper alleged in arrest reports.

Cole William Peterson (HCSO jail reports)

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Warren Williamson reported responding in the early morning hours Sunday, March 14, on FM 1870 to a vehicle crash. Upon arrival, the trooper observed a Ford Mustang in the middle of the road with numerous open alcohol containers visible inside the car.

“At the scene, it was apparent there was a car seat in the rear seat. Based on the blood in the car it was readily apparent that someone had retrieved a child from the car seat but there was no child present at the scene,” Williamson wrote in arrest reports.

Cole William Peterson of Cumby reportedly identified himself to the trooper and admitted to being the driver of the red Mustang at the time of the crash. Williamson reported smelling a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage on 21-year-old Peterson’s breath while talking with him. Peterson admitted to consuming numerous alcoholic beverages prior to operating the car, but denied that a child was in the car at the time of the crash, Williamson alleged in arrest reports.

Peterson was unable to successfully complete standard field sobriety tests and demonstrated he did not have the normal use of his mental and physical faculties due to alcohol, Williamson noted in arrest reports. At that point, Peterson was place under arrest for driving while intoxicated and taken to jail. He blew 0.147 and 0.142 on breath tests, well over the 0.08 legal limit for blood-alcohol content, Williamson stated in arrest reports.

“I contacted the mother of the child who confirmed she had lied to deputies who responded to her residence to check the welfare of the child. The mother confirmed the female child,” Williamson alleged in arrest reports, “approximately 1.5 years of age, was with [Peterson], in the vehicle at the time of the crash and that he had called someone to take the child from the crash scene to the mother in Como. The mother also confirmed that the child had received minor injuries during the crash.”

Williamson alleged that Peterson, by not seeking medical attention for the child considering the severity of the crash and his actions, acted with criminal negligence for the child’s safety and wellbeing. Peterson’s actions were a “gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances,” Williamson wrote in arrest reports. The trooper alleged in arrest reports that Peterson “tampered with evidence by having the child removed from the scene and attempting to conceal that the child was involved in the crash.”

Texas Department of Public Safety highway patrol vehicle

Peterson was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under the age of 15 years in the vehicle, abandoning or endangering a child with criminal negligence, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.

Peterson remained in Hopkins County jail Sunday evening March 14, 2021 on all three charges stemming from the alleged FM 1870 drunk driving crash. Bond was set at $30,000 on the tampering with evidence charge, and $10,000 each on the DWI with child passenger and child endangerment-criminal negligence charge, according to jail reports.


The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office is located at 298 Rosemont St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 438-4040.

Author: Faith Huffman

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