Metro-East fire chief accused of DUI after crash -

Metro-East fire chief accused of DUI after crash

SAUGET, Ill. (AP) -- The fire chief in the southwestern Illinois village of Sauget is apologizing after being accused of drunkenly driving a village-owned SUV into a concrete pole.

Cahokia police charged 48-year-old Roger Thornton in connection with the wreck Oct. 18.

He's free on $100 bond.

A police report shows that Thornton refused to have his blood alcohol level tested, and that the officer reported Thornton to have slurred speech and "glassy eyes."

Thornton has no prior DUI arrests. His only convictions in St. Clair County were two for minor traffic citations more than 20 years ago.

Thorton told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he made "a grave error in judgment" and that his actions "are not very becoming of me." He says he apologizes to all involved.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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