Report: Woman under the influence of prescription drugs during crash

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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MILTON, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has obtained police reports that indicate investigators believe a Cumming woman who crashed through the front of a Milton fast-food restaurant last week was under the influence of prescription drugs at the time.

Shannon Payette, 47, is not facing any charges stemming from the Aug. 31 incident in which police said she hit the gas instead of the brake and plowed through the window of Express Wing on Highway 9.

A police report obtained by Channel 2's Mike Petchenik said Payette told officers she was on an unnamed medication and had taken a dose about an hour before the incident.

"I formed the opinion that Ms. Payette was under the influence of drugs to the extent that she was less safe to drive," the officer wrote in the incident report.

The report said, "Appropriate action will be taken" after Payette's blood samples are analyzed by the GBI crime lab.

Petchenik tracked down one of the restaurant employees injured in the incident.

Delivery driver Pernell Russell said he tried to get out of the way when Payette's Lexus came through the window, but he wasn't quick enough.

"I tried to get out of the way, but it (hit) the counter and banged me against the wall," he told Petchenik. "I got a couple of bruises and stuff all over."

Russell said he noticed that Payette was dazed and confused when she got out of her car. Witness Kevin Hill said he noticed similar behavior.

"She appeared to not know where she was," he said. "I figured she probably was on pills."

Hill and Russell told Petchenik they believe Payette should face charges in the incident.

Petchenik attempted to reach Payette at her Cumming home, but she was not there.



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