West Salem Elementary School Principal John Smalley, 49, was cited for OWI (1st offense) and hit-and-run for an incident on February 28 in Onalaska.
Onalaska police were called to the scene of a hit-and-run on February 28 at 2:28 a.m. at 4th Avenue N. and Locust Street. When an officer arrived, he noticed a rear-end damage to an empty vehicle parked on 4th Avenue.
The officer followed a dark trail of what appeared to be engine fluid to Smalley’s Onalaska house about a mile away from the incident, according to the police report. When the officer arrived at Smalley’s house, he noticed an SUV with major front-end damage parked with its right tires up on a snow pile. The police report states the driver’s airbag was deployed and the windows were down.
Smalley told police he was driving home from downtown where he met some relatives for beers and hit a car, but he emphasized he was not drunk. Smalley said he called AAA and, according to Smalley, they told him to file a police report in the morning. Smalley told police he planned to report the accident in the morning.
Smalley’s breath sample registered .150. He was arrested and cited for OWI (1st offense), hit-and-run unattended vehicle; failure to notify police of an accident; and operating left of center.
On Monday, Smalley's attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Attorneys on both sides are currently in negotiations.
The School District of West Salem did not have a comment about this incident at this time.