On October 20, 2017, at 9:38 p.m., Officer Sterrett was driving northbound on Hilltop Drive when a Dodge Spirit began to pull out in front of her to turn southbound from Industrial Street. Officer Sterrett avoided a collision and made a traffic stop on the Dodge in the 2300 block of Hilltop Drive. The Dodge was driven by William James Ashmun, age 25, of Redding. Officer Sterrett, a Drug Recognition Expert, immediately noticed Ashmun appeared to be under the influence of drugs and the investigation was turned over to a DUI Specialist. Ashmun was evaluated and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. He was found to have methamphetamine in his possession and was also driving without a license.
As officers were concluding that investigation, there were three patrol vehicles stopped with emergency lights activated to the rear. Officer Johnson had just entered her patrol SUV when a Dodge Dakota pick up traveling south on Hilltop Drive drifted to the right, missed the first patrol vehicle and struck the rear driver side of Officer Johnson’s patrol SUV. The Dakota veered back onto the roadway, missed the third patrol car, and stopped a short distance away.
The Dakota was driven by Terrence William Ellison, age 62, of Lewiston. He was contacted and found to be under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested by the Redding Police Department for felony driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury. Ellison has a prior conviction for driving under the influence and was found to have a blood alcohol level over twice the presumptive limit.
Ellison was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured. Officer Johnson had just entered her patrol SUV and had not had a chance to put her seatbelt on. She received minor injuries; however, she was not transported to the hospital. A Redding Police Department Explorer was riding with Officer Johnson and was in the patrol SUV at the time it was struck. He did not receive any injuries. The patrol SUV was not drivable after the collision and was towed from the location. The California Highway Patrol responded for the traffic collision investigation.
Ellison was booked into the Shasta County Jail under case 17-77833 for driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury and driving with a BAC over a .08% and causing injury.
Ashmun was booked into the Shasta County Jail under case 17-77836 for driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a controlled substance, driving without a license and a violation of his felony probation. Ashmun is on probation out of Sacramento for false impersonation and out of Shasta County for theft with prior convictions for theft, vehicle theft, and possession of stolen property.