Rock Hill woman recovers after Saturday crash

scetrone@heraldonline.comJanuary 8, 2013 

A 23-year-old Rock Hill woman is recovering after she was flown to a Charlotte hospital with life-threatening injuries following a Saturday afternoon wreck on Constitution Boulevard.

Tanisha Patricia Ellis was in “fair” condition Tuesday at Carolinas Medical Center, a hospital official said.

Ellis was driving south on Constitution toward Cherry Road in a green Honda Accord around 12:40 p.m. Saturday when a silver Ford Taurus, traveling west on Westerwood Drive, ran a red light and crashed into the Honda’s driver’s side.

An ambulance took Ellis to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill before she was flown to Charlotte, police said.

Marcel Lydell Dyess Jr., 20, faces several charges – including felony driving under the influence – in connection with that wreck and another that occurred minutes earlier.

Here’s what authorities believe happened, according to police reports released Tuesday:

At 12:37 p.m. a silver Taurus heading east on Cherry Road turned left and hit a Dodge Durango that was driving west on Cherry. The collision sent the SUV toward the driveway of a McDonald’s across the street from Winthrop University, where the SUV hit a car that was pulling out of the fast food restaurant.

Those drivers and another witness told police that the Taurus kept going.

Minutes later, the Taurus ran a red light on Westerwood, about a mile away, and hit Ellis’ car.

The driver of the Taurus left the scene on foot, police said.

Dyess was arrested on Spring View Court, about half a mile from the accident. Police noted he was out of breath and had injuries on his face and head.

While a breath analysis showed Dyess had not been drinking alcohol, police determined after a field sobriety test that he was impaired, according to a report.

Dyess was charged with possession of marijuana and told police he had taken a muscle relaxer that morning, the report states.

Police are waiting for results from blood and urine analyses, Lt. Brad Redfearn said.

“Dyess continued to indicate that he was unaware of a vehicle collision,” an officer wrote in a report.

Dyess is charged with felony driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, driving under the influence second offense, driving under suspension and leaving the scene of an accident.

Police records show he was convicted of possession of marijuana on April 20, 2011.

Staff writer Jonathan McFadden contributed.

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