Saturday, 2:15 PM
Woman pleads not guilty to drunken driving in accident with Sandra Bullock
By Steven Rosenberg, Globe Staff
GLOUCESTER -- The woman accused of driving drunk and plowing into a sport utility vehicle carrying movie star Sandra Bullock told authorities that she had “two glasses of wine,” according to a police report filed today in court.
The arresting officer, however, wrote in his report that Lucile P. Gatchell, 64, appeared "dazed and confused.”
“I immediately detected the strong odor of liquor from her person as she sat inside the damaged motor vehicle,” wrote police officer Kevin Mackey, who responded to the accident on East Main Street at 9:50 p.m. Friday. “Her eyes were blood shot and glassy. Her speech was extremely slurred as she spoke.”
Bullock is in the area shooting the romantic comedy "The Proposal" and had finished filming for the day in Rockport. She and her husband, Jessie James, and their driver were not injured in the head-on collision.
Gatchell was silent and reserved and wore sunglasses during her arraignment this morning in Gloucester District Court. She declined to address three newspaper reporters and six television cameras covering her brief court appearance. One of the cameras was from Inside Edition, a celebrity focused television tabloid.
Gatchell pleaded not guilty to charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and failure to stay in a marked lane. She was released without bail and is due back in court June 6.
“Ms. Gatchell is very relieved that no one was injured in the accident,” said her lawyer, Benjamin Richard. “She also wants to extend her gratitude to Ms. Bullock, and Mr. James for the concern they showed to her at the time of the accident.
Mackey wrote in his report that the Gloucester resident failed four field sobriety tests Friday night and her blood alcohol level registered .20, which is more than twice the legal limit.
The day after the collision, police said, Gatchell was told several times that she hit Bullock, and each time she expressed shock as if it was the first time she heard.
"She said, 'My first drunk driving incident and I hit Sandra Bullock,' " Mackey said. "She was almost laughing. But crying, too.
"Ms. Bullock was very personable and was concerned for [Gatchell's] well-being," Mackey said.
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