Walnut Hill Man Charged With DUI After Highway 97 Crash

May 31, 2010

A local man was arrested for DUI after a wreck Sunday night on Highway 97 in Walnut Hill.

Dusty D. Mason, 24, of Still Road, Century, was taken into custody by the Florida Highway Patrol following the 8:30 p.m. wreck on Highway 97 just north of Tungoil Road.

Mason was northbound on Highway 97 when he ran off the roadway, struck a power pole, continued north in the ditch and went over a driveway, with his Chevrolet coming to rest back on the edge of Highway 97.

Mason refused medical treatment following the crash.

The power pole that Mason struck was broken about 12 feet off the ground. Residents in the area did not lose power immediately after the crash. But an unknown number of Escambia River Electric Cooperative customers south of Howell Road lost power about 9:40 p.m. as the power company worked to replace the broken pole.

The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue responded to the call.

Pictured top: The driver of this vehicle was arrested for DUI following a Sunday night crash on Highway 97. Pictured top inset: Dusty Mason, 24, is taken into custody by the Florida Highway Patrol after the accident. Pictured below: A power pole was broken in the crash. Pictured below: A portion of the power pole was lodged between a tire and rim in the accident. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


33 Responses to “Walnut Hill Man Charged With DUI After Highway 97 Crash”

  1. SUSAN on August 26th, 2010 10:24 am


  2. Amber on June 5th, 2010 10:00 am

    Dusty – please be careful! I dont agree with drinking and driving, but I can understand how life can get you into a tailspin. It could have been a lot worse… and you already know that.

    You are a wonderful person inside!!! I remember you always being the one to make others feel better!!! Try not to let this beat you and turn you into someone you are not!

  3. bubble_gum on June 4th, 2010 7:46 pm

    glad ur ok, dude…….learn from this, someone’s tellin u somethin……….be safe D!

  4. Sherry on June 2nd, 2010 9:12 pm

    My family and I were hit head-on in Cantonment by a drunk driver– we are all very lucky to be alive today. Please, Please Do not drink and drive.

    BTW: Always wear your seatbelt–you never know when you are going to be in an accident.

  5. give me a break on June 2nd, 2010 8:33 pm

    @ dee milam- theres nothing avg about taking peoples lives in your hands..thats a very serious decision and just bc you’ve had a rough time doesnt give u the right to drink and drive.

    you say you trust him with your children… would you have been willing to strap them in the backseat along for that drunken drive…its not about how responsible you are sober… the drunk driver (& in many instances innocent people) are going to have to deal with the decisions you make drunk

    as a mother daughter & sister i would never defend anyone who makes those decisions.

    btw call me and my family odd being 21 & 23 ourselves for choosing not to get in a vehicle drunk and put your familys life at risk. guess we should thank god all 24 yos arent avg!

    * i went to school w. dusty, nice guy but i still dont want you killing off my family and friends

  6. delorise milam/ dee on June 2nd, 2010 2:51 pm

    thank u all for your comments towards him that were not hate or judge filled. yes, he made sum terrible decisions, and i hope in my heart that he sees that now. dusty, is an amazing person, we have all made istakes, i am sure all of us have family members who have too, and still loved them the next day. dusty would never say anything hurtful about sumone else, or judge sumone so quickly. i just hope that everyone sees that this was a blessing, he is alive and no one else was hurt. the comments should read as the last few did, “dusty, be glad u r alive, and no one else was hurt, please wake up and make better decisions, next tie u might not walk away.” i appreciate those ones and i know in my heart he does too, but to the other comments, judging him, throwing harsh words and statements at him, u dont know him, like i do. i know that he would have my back had i made such a decision. i dont drink, smoke, do drugs, and yet dusty mason is still my best friend. i am a mother of three childeren, and i trust in my heart they would be safe with him. just please know, dusty was wrong, but he is not a bad person for his mistake, before we r so quick to judge him, know the facts.

  7. been there on June 1st, 2010 9:56 pm

    Dusty…we dont have to be in the car to KNOW WHAT HAPPENED…..LOOK at the car and your picture dude…WE WERE THERE…WOW MAN..Oh yeah…lets see..a deer ran in front of you..yeah, that will work…..you weren’t the only one there….the law was there too !!! and the photographer

  8. Mrs. Hollingsworth on June 1st, 2010 8:25 pm

    Dusty remember you have family that loves you and friends that does not want to see anything happen to you. Please don’t drinlk and drive. Call someone to help you out. The best person to call is GOD and he can help you through anything. Please , Please don’t drink and drive. I just know you can turn your life around and change it for the best. Thinking of you and I know that you are a good guy.

  9. David Huie Green on June 1st, 2010 8:16 pm

    “If you dont know what really happened then you can keep your nose out of my business. I know for a fact that what happened. I was the only person there. So unless u were in the car with me your opinions will go right to the trash.”

    If I’d been in the care with you, based on the picture, wouldn’t I be dead right now?

    If I’d met you, wouldn’t I be dead right now?

    Maybe not, as Molinojim pointed out, “. . . There are things worse than being killed in a wreck—go to a rehab hospital and look at the people who can only move their eyes and so on.”

    Either you lost control or you didn’t lose control. If you lost control, you endangered the lives of others by not being in control while moving a multi-ton machine down the road. If you didn’t lose control, you endangered the lives of others on purpose.

    Yes we’ve all done things we regret. Some of us have nightmares decades later of those very things, both what happened and what could have happened if things had changed just a little bit.

    We aren’t all griping when we ask,” Please decide not to kill us or the ones we care for who might be on the road you drive–or even inside their houses if you hit them.”

    For that matter, there’s people who just want you not to kill yourself and that IS the most common result of vehicular accidents.

    David thinking drinking and driving
    is as dangerous as texting and driving
    and not wanting any killed or paralized

  10. A family friend who still cares! on June 1st, 2010 7:31 pm

    Dusty, you know that your Grannie would never have approved of the decision you made to drink and drive that night, no matter what the circumstances. Family issues have always been and will always be, so that is no excuse too not only break the law, but to endanger yourself and others sharing the road with you.

    Your friends who have posted comments on here are very concerned about you, your well being and your future and most of all they are probably really dissapointed in you about now. We miss the old Dusty who lived by values, had respect for everyone and used good judgement.

    PLEASE Dusty, take this experience that could have been much worse and learn from it, if not for your sake, then for all those who love and care about you. Your grannie who loved you dearly would never ever want to see you or anyone else injured or killed by doing something that was preventable in the first place.

  11. interested reader on June 1st, 2010 6:36 pm

    Dusty you are right – no one knows exactly what happened but a few things are facts. DUI charges don’t just happen, Be thankful that the good Lord was watching out for you. You didn’t hurt anyone except yourself and just maybe this will be a wake-up call for you to get your life on a different track.

  12. just peachy on June 1st, 2010 2:59 pm

    Drinking Does Not Solve Problems…….Just makes them Worse.

    Oh, and Yes you Are guilty until proven innocent. That’s not the way it is Supposed to be, But that is how it works in the system. Justice is niether blind, nor balanced.

  13. wayne on June 1st, 2010 2:44 pm

    He is my cousin,I cant justify that he was right but I do know he is living in sheer hell now and also having family problems,He has heard and had enought so you people need to quit throwing stones because one way or another you people are all living glass houses just as well…

  14. Jewels on June 1st, 2010 10:53 am

    First I am thankfull that there was no injury to another, or the driver. For those sos quick to judge, I will continue to pray for you….. None of you have “EVER MADE A MISTAKE”, you have never misjudged…… I am not saying what he has done is right, but he does not need everyone pointing fingers telling him how wrong he is. I am sure he got the picture when he was cuffed and taken to jail…. Remember for those of you that have children, grand children, neices and nephews, that your judgements, and mean words will be real hard to swollow when they are being said about your own family. I feel that we as Christians need to pray for this young man, for his family, and give prais to GOD that he was not hurt, and that by GOD’S grace there was no other Human or auto involved.

  15. molinojim on June 1st, 2010 9:44 am

    POOR DUSTY???? Looking at the damage he’s lucky to be arrested not in the hospital or in a box. I use to drink and drive and can tell you from a personal view point—I felt I was the best driver around. As my BAL went up my dumbness level went up also. The turning point for me was going to a pool party and drinking so much I didn’t remember driving home. I hope for this young man he’ll take the same position I took—NO DRINKING AND DRIVING. There are things worse than being killed in a wreck—go to a rehab hospital and look at the people who can only move their eyes and so on. PLEASE RESPECT YOURSELF, FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND JUST TRY TO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. WISH YOU LUCK YOUNG FELLOW!!!!!

  16. delorise/ dee milam on June 1st, 2010 7:58 am

    dusty is a good guy, he knows what all happened, he just couldve died and lost his life, his car, and after words his family got into a big verbal and physical fight. i am worried bout him, he is a good guy, and deserves a fair shot. *hugs dusty, and reassures him. friends stick together, and so shall our community, everyone mKES mistakes, i work at the b.p. in walnut hill, and i have seen the same hundreds of people every day come in and buy beer, then get in their truck and drive off. every day. i see all of ya’ll with your beer and cigarettes. no one here can pass judgement or throw stones. i have heard of other wrecks where people have died, and killed others nd yet yall always mourn for them, forgetting the fact of alcohol involved.

  17. Really!!!! on May 31st, 2010 8:08 pm

    So DUSTY no one knows what was going huh. Well before you can be arrested for dui there has to Probale cause, an also they give you FST’s so u must have failed those or they would not have arrested you. by the way what was you BAL. i just wanna say ur very lucky because my wife an two kids were not even 5 mins behind you and if you would have hurt them beacuse of your stupid decision you would have regreted it. just because you dont value your life i value mine and my familys. so the next time u start to drink an drive you need to think about that. GULITY!!!!!!!!

  18. rollin' stone on May 31st, 2010 6:23 pm

    dusty u should b humbled by this and thanking God that he spared your life and the lives of the other people you passed during your drive! Instead you are angry at the peoples post on here. You certainly have not learned anything. Maybe the judge will read your post! Shame on U!!!!!

  19. nudo on May 31st, 2010 5:25 pm

    LOL……I guess the police report is false…

  20. Walter on May 31st, 2010 5:06 pm

    Whatcha tryin to say Dusty?

    False Arrest ?

    Innocent until proven guilty ? Absolutley !

    But people can still have their thoughts and beliefs !!!

  21. Dusty Mason on May 31st, 2010 4:47 pm

    If you dont know what really happened then you can keep your nose out of my business. I know for a fact that what happened. I was the only person there. So unless u were in the car with me your opinions will go right to the trash.

  22. nudo on May 31st, 2010 4:28 pm

    Negative comments??? He was drinking and driving. Nothing good ever comes from this…get a clue.

  23. r u serious on May 31st, 2010 4:25 pm

    U think he is an average 24 y/o most people are grown up by the time they are 24

  24. delorise/ dee milam on May 31st, 2010 3:58 pm

    dusty mason is my best friend, a great guy, jus has had a hard go at things. dusty i love u and hope that u r ok. if u need “anything” jus let me know!! i am sorry, my ninja!!! and to anyone with negative comments u need to, nevermind, i am gonna let it gbe nice and not karate kick anyone, but maybe that dang pole shouldnt have jumped in the middle of his path!! dusty is amazing and u if u dont know him, then u need to stay outta it, to my ninja’s family, i am here for him. <3 and btw, i ahte the pic they posted of him, he is no criminal, jus an avarage 24 y/o.

  25. pp on May 31st, 2010 12:11 pm

    I am glad you are O.K. Dusty… I am thankful no one else was hurt. I am neither Judge nor jury so all I will say is I will Pray for you and hope you have learned from this. There IS a reason you are still here!!!!

  26. H on May 31st, 2010 10:37 am

    Well… Dusty and I went to school together and he used to not be like this but I guess in time people change and make poor decisions. – Some people try so hard to fit in and be cool- its really not worth it. I also agree he should be punished for what he did, it was wrong and he could of killed someone or himself. People always say- “Lock em’ up, Give them the maximum punishment.” Do you think that is going to teach him anything? Probably not. People are so quick to pass judgment.
    - Yes… It was wrong, but is someone going to take the time and talk to him, help him, etc…..

  27. mph on May 31st, 2010 10:21 am

    FYI – from Esc. Clerk of Court records – on 5-9-10 Dusty was cited as follows: Open Container (passenger cited) Cost and fine $116.00 as yet unpaid. Now DUI and accident. Well anyway – at least then he was letting someone else do the driving.

  28. rollin' stone on May 31st, 2010 9:53 am

    wow poor Dusty? Dusty could have killed some one u love!!! WAKE UP!!

  29. mph on May 31st, 2010 9:25 am

    I have tried for years to understand why you people think that people like “poor Dusty” are not true criminals. He may as well have had a loaded gun and begun taking pot shots at other drivers on Highway 97 (which I remind you) is one of the worst roads in Escambia County for accidently (on purpose) accidents.. Many people who drive on 97 have no respect for other drivers or even themselves, High speed, tailgating, agressive driving, and passing on yellow lines is common practice on 97. One has to wonder why the residents put up with this as it is unlikely that most of the decent residents are driving in this manner. Wake up people of Pilgrim Hills, Dogwood Park, Bratt, and Walnut Hill. Insist that the FHP and ESCO get out your way and put a stop to this carnage. As for “Poor Dusty” he deserves the full punishment of the law. You can follow his case by going to the Escambia County Clerk of Court website. It will be interesting to find out if Dusty had insurance and a valid drivers liscence. Sorry to be so cold but it is cold in the graves of the people who have been killed on that raod – mostly due to disrespective people who choose to ignore the laws of our land and let the rest of us live in peace.

  30. puddin on May 31st, 2010 9:05 am

    Poor Dusty? He could have killed somebody!!! What if it was your kid/spouse/loved one out there instead of the telephone pole? Wake UP. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. Just don’t do it. Sleep it off in the back seat, call a buddy, call a cab. Make ANY other choice. Don’t put me or my kids in jepordy because of your good time.

  31. so against DUI!! on May 31st, 2010 6:50 am

    Well dusty everyone makes mistakes and you made a big one I am so against drunk driving and wish more people like you who I know is a smart man wouldn’t drink and drive anymore you know I use 2 drink and drive myself and it all changed after people I knew were taking away by drunk drivers!!! Maybe you will learn from this!!

  32. been there on May 31st, 2010 6:22 am

    Another young mans life has gone from bad to worse…just glad no one else was involved or injured…should have been home and in the bed huh !!!

  33. uhhh on May 31st, 2010 1:04 am

    Poor dusty!!

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