Authorities cited the Central Wyoming Fair manager for careless driving in August after he plowed through a fence in his work truck while chasing the vehicle of a man he suspected of photographing his wife, according to a Natrona County Sheriff’s Office investigator’s crash report.
Tom Jones drove a Natrona County Fair Association-issued Ford F350 through a fence near Cattle Trail Drive on Aug. 4, according to the report. He failed a field sobriety test after the crash, but a breath test showed his blood alcohol content was below the legal limit. Jones was cited for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Jones told a sheriff’s deputy on the night of the crash his wife shouted that someone was taking photos of her heading to a hot tub. Jones said he chased the man’s truck, missed a turn and crashed through the fence in question. He then left the scene of the wreck and drove home, according to the report.
Deputies arrived in the area around 10 p.m., responding to a report of a possible drunken driver. They found about 40 feet of fence lying in the middle of the road.
When they talked to the man Jones chased, he told them he was taking photos of irrigation water in the road near Jones’s property as part of his work for the Casper Alcova Irrigation District, the report states.
Jones was drinking when the deputy interviewed him within an hour of the accident. Jones told the deputy he had drank “two or three” beers since returning home, according to the report.
Jones then agreed to a field sobriety test. He failed to walk a straight line and was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Jones took a breath test at the Natrona County Detention Center about one hour and 45 minutes after the crash. He passed the breath test with a reading of 0.04, below the legal limit of 0.08, was cited and released.
Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Jones said he had “overreacted,” but described the incident as “not a big deal.”
He said he had replaced a fence post damaged in the crash.
“If somebody’s on your place taking pictures, it kinda gets to you,” he said.
When reached for comment, county commissioners Forrest Chadwick and John Lawson deferred to Gary Lathrop of the Central Wyoming Fair Board. Chadwick said the board is autonomous and it handles all hiring, firing and disciplinary decisions.
Lathrop said he did not know about the incident when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.
Lathrop said Jones has been “an excellent fair manager.” Jones has worked for the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo for over 30 years, according to the CWFR website.
“I’m sorry to hear (Jones) has had a difficulty,” Lathrop said. “... We will get all of the details and act accordingly.”