Man arrested in DWI after crashing, abandoning car

Thomas Lee Jernigan
Thomas Lee Jernigan

Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a 28-year-old man Sunday accused of lying to authorities about his car being stolen when he actually crashed it while driving while intoxicated.

Thomas Lee Jernigan, of Ponchatoula, was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on one count each of third-offense DWI, driving under a suspended license and careless operation of a vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said Monday in a news release.

The Sheriff’s Office was called around 12:30 a.m. about someone abandoning a vehicle after crashing it on Pleasant Ridge Road Extension in Hammond. Deputies discovered the vehicle was registered to Jernigan. Deputies went to Jernigan’s home and found him calling authorities about his vehicle being stolen.

Deputies later determined Jernigan had been driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, the Sheriff’s Office said.