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Gaston County EMS deputy chief charged with DWI

The deputy chief for Gaston County Emergency Medical Services is accused of drunk driving, after officials found him passed out in his truck Friday night with a blood alcohol concentration well past the legal limit.

A concerned driver noticed Clyde Cantrell’s vehicle swerving and called police, multiple media reported.

“I don’t know if he is sick or drunk or something, but he is going to kill somebody,” the 911 caller told police, according to WSOC-TV. “He’s about to wreck. He is going to kill somebody.”

Police in Stanley found Cantrell, 45, asleep at the wheel with the car still on and a bottle of vodka next to him, according to multiple reports. It took several minutes to wake him, and when police did, Cantrell had a .23 blood alcohol concentration — nearly three times the legal limit.

He was charged with driving while impaired and driving with an open container of alcohol.

“It’s unfortunate given who it is, but it really makes no difference what his position is if he’s out there putting good people in danger and everybody’s safety at risk,” Stanley Police Chief Derek Summey said, according to the Gaston Gazette.

Cantrell was among the leaders who created the department’s handbook on behavior, according to WSOC-TV.

Cantrell, who has been with Gaston County EMS since 1993, was put on administrative leave, WCNC reported.

“He’s still the deputy chief,” EMS chief Mark Lamphiear said, according to the TV station. “He is on administrative leave at this point until we sort of figure out where we’re going.”

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