SUV crashes into ‘Welcome to High Point’ sign on U.S. 311

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — An SUV crashed into the landmark “Welcome to High Point” sign located on Hwy 311 on New Year’s Eve after it was clipped by another vehicle.

According to a police crash report, a silver Nissan X-terra crashed into the large brick sign after it was clipped from behind by a pickup truck on U.S. 311 South near the line between Guilford and Forsyth counties around 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

The report indicates Darren Todd Welch, the driver of the X-terra, was heading south on the highway when he came up behind a Chevrolet Silverado. Welch told police the pickup truck was moving “well below the speed limit” and “weaving back and forth across his lane.”

Welch said he suspected the driver of being impaired, so he decided to try and pass, according to the report. As Welch attempted to pass the truck, he said his X-terra was clipped from behind. Welch then lost control of his vehicle, which left the roadway, the report indicates.

Tim Bernard Shelton, the driver of the Silverado, reportedly told police he thought that he was cut off by the X-terra. However, Shelton said the wreck happened so fast that he was “really unsure,” according to the report.

Police Lt. Tim Ellenberger confirmed Monday that Shelton, who stopped after causing the wreck, was charged with DWI.

Welch said his wife was taken by private vehicle to Moses Cone Hospital after the crash. The extent of her injuries was not clear, although they were not considered life-threatening.

He said his two daughters, ages 4 and 9, were also inside the SUV but were not injured.

The welcome sign was broken, but the wreck didn’t appear to cause any serious traffic issues.