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Police: Man who crashed into shop was high

Medford police say a man allegedly high on marijuana crashed his car Friday into the front door of a tanning salon at the Medford Center.

Brandon L. Highstone, 34, of the 800 block of Olympic Avenue in Medford, was trying to park when his car rammed into the front of Jan's Tans at 602 Medford Center, said Sgt. Don Lane of the Medford Police Department.

No one was injured in the crash, but Highstone was transported to a sobering center and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person and operating a vehicle without driving privileges.

"He was trying to park in a parking stall in the front of the building, and he accelerated and struck the building instead of hitting the brake. ... He claims his foot slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator, and he wasn't able to stop before hitting the building," Lane said.

Jan's Tans owner Mark Phemins said he isn't certain how much it will cost to repair the damages.

"He just hit it a little bit, knocked some of the glass out and bent the frame ... he didn't break all of it, just one little section," Phemins said. "He was sorry about it; accidents happen. Then the police showed up and took over everything."

Lane said when Highstone blew a .00 for alcohol, he was evaluated under suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Lane, a drug-recognition expert, conducted the examination of Highstone.

A drug-recognition expert is a police officer who has completed training in recognizing intoxication symptoms and earned certification through the International Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, which is run by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Lane, who didn't respond to the incident, said he didn't feel comfortable stating whether Highstone confessed to smoking marijuana on Friday, since Highstone's case "has not been adjudicated."

"He failed our sobriety tests in the field, and we ruled out alcohol," Lane said. "Without going into his statement, based off the evaluation, the clinical indicators were consistent with cannabis."

Lane said he evaluated Highstone's pupils, pulse, blood pressure and signs of ingestion before making the determination that he was high on marijuana.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or email swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.