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Police: Drunk Ky. man drives onto football field, nearly hits members of marching band

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 8:27 PM EDT
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ESTILL CO., Ky. (WKYT) - Band practice in Estill County came to a screeching halt after a drunk driver barreled onto the field. It all happened Monday night at Estill Springs Elementary School.

Irvine police say 52-year-old William Caudill was drunk when he drove onto a football field and...
Irvine police say 52-year-old William Caudill was drunk when he drove onto a football field and nearly hit members of the Estill County marching band.(Irvine Police Dept.)

“Our story could be much different today and that is frightening,” Jessican Mullins, band parent and Estill Springs Elementary principal said.

Around 50 students were gathered at the field for a socially distanced rehearsal. Toward the end of practice, there was a scuffle amongst the parents.

“There was a conversation with another parent, it got heated, I think he may have told them to shut up or mind their own business,” Band Director Jason Bowles said.

That person was William Caudill, with a blood alcohol content nearly four times the legal limit.

“The vehicle was parked in one of the parking spots at the top of the hill and I guess what got everyone’s attention was the vehicle actually rolled down this embankment onto the football field,” Bowles said.

The percussion ensemble was in its path.

“Had it traveled six, eight more feet, we would’ve had a totally different news story today,” Bowles said.

Police won’t release video of the incident because it’s an ongoing investigation, but Principal Mullens showed us a clip of Bowles running toward the moving car, then banging on the passenger side window, trying to get the driver to stop.

“At that point the vehicle stopped, that’s when I was able to go around to the driver’s side and actually get him out of the car,” Bowles said.

Bowles said he threw Caudill to the ground and held him there until police arrived.

“There’s no safety training that could prepare for you for an event such as this,” Mullins said.

Mullins got the call to come to campus because there had been an emergency.

“It really just sunk my heart completely, I was moved with thankfulness that the students were okay, but then I also was moved and was so thankful for the quick action of our marching band staff,” Mullins said.

She said nobody was hurt in the incident.

“Once the parents started yelling, they just ran here behind the trailer to get away,” Bowles said.

The band will get back to not only playing, but being a support system.

“We kind of have a way of thinking in our program where we always try to put a positive spin on anything that could be negative,” Bowles said.

Caudill was charged with a DUI and first degree wanton endangerment.

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