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Bridge over troubled water

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The St. Patrick’s Day celebration kicked off Friday night on a depressing note, when a head-on collision on the Back River bridge, just north of the Talmadge Bridge, closed both lanes over the Savannah River for several hours.

The three-vehicle wreck happened when a car headed from South Carolina toward Savannah attempted to pass another car. The driver of that car, John David Maney, 54, of the 100 block of Stafford Road, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center after the 7:06 p.m. collision. He is listed in critical condition.

 His Ford Escort was headed south on U.S. 17 toward the Talmadge Memorial Bridge when the Escort crossed the center line and collided with a Ford Explorer SUV being driven northbound by a Savannah woman.

• The first night of the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Festival netted nine arrests by Savannah-Chatham Police.

“Public urination accounted for five of the arrests, with two disorderly charges and one each of simple battery and obstruction,” police say. One arrest was made on River Street and the others in the “Festival Zone” stretching from Bay Street to Jones Street.

• A man sought on charges of kidnapping and rape was taken into custody by U.S Marshals working with Savannah-Chatham Police.

Detectives had charged Torrey Scott, 38, with crimes against a woman who was robbed, kidnapped and assaulted on Feb. 9. She was approached as she drove into the Candler Hospital parking lot about 7:30 that Sunday morning. The suspect robbed her, forced her to drive to a secluded area and attacked her.

• Police made the third arrest related to downtown Savannah shootings on and near Broughton Street occurring Feb. 25 just after 1 a.m.

Shavatica Morris, 21, was taken into custody by the US Marshal’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 6, during a traffic stop at Davidson Street and Dean Forest Road.

“Morris was subsequently served warrants for aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection to shootings on the 200 block of East Broughton Street,” police say. “The shootings left a 25-year-old male and a 19-year-old female with non-life threatening wounds.”

The morning of the incident, officers were called to Club Dosha on the 100 block to break up a fight when shots rang out. Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shootings.

• An auto crash led to charges against Randall Lane Caruthers II, 39, who turned himself in to detectives. He is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony (13 counts) and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.

Officers “intensified an investigation into his activities after his 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe crossed the center line of Islands Expressway and collided with a westbound car, killing the driver of the car.” Caruthers and another occupant of the Tahoe, Kenneth R. Rosen, 23, each told police the other man was driving the Tahoe.

Three other vehicles were involved in the crash with only one other minor injury. 

Meanwhile, detectives began a focused investigation on Caruthers and previously reported drug accusations. That investigation resulted in a March 5 traffic stop of Caruthers’ vehicle and a driving without a license charge against him. He was released on bond.

During the traffic stop “a Metro canine officer alerted on the vehicle and officers discovered a large sum of cash in the vehicle.”  Police then executed a search warrant at his residence and recovered another large amount of cash, 14 firearms, and marijuana.

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