Woman pleads not guilty to DUI, homicide charges in Tennessee
During an arraignment in Rutherford County on Aug. 19, a 33-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to charges related to a fatal accident that happened along Interstate 24 on April 10 in Smyrna. The hit-and-run crash allegedly involved intoxication, and a 13-year-old boy died after being struck while changing a tire near the highway.
The woman, who is from Murfreesboro, was at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center on a $250,000 bond, but she appeared via video and was assigned an attorney by the presiding judge. The accident allegedly happened when the woman swerved through two lanes and reportedly told a trooper that she had to avoid a vehicle entering her lane. She also allegedly said she went into a ditch and left the scene though she might have seen someone on the ground.
A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report showed that the woman had Xanax, marijuana metabolites and amphetamines in her system when the crash occurred, and a trooper reported the woman had slurred speech and failed three field sobriety tests. Her charges include vehicular homicide by intoxication, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and possession of marijuana. The woman’s lawyer and a district attorney will discuss a plea offer and evidence during her next court date on Sept. 15.
Car accidents that result in fatal injuries are difficult for families, but medical expenses and funeral costs can make the time after an accident even more difficult. Monetary worries may be eased by filing a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation from a negligent driver who caused an accident. In cases where drunk driving occurred, a plaintiff’s lawyer may use toxicology reports and statements from officers as pieces of evidence that show a driver caused a wreck due to intoxication.
Source: The Tennessean, “Woman accused in fatal I-24 accident pleads not guilty”, Michelle Willard, 08/19/2014.
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Middle Tennessee woman pleads not guilty in hit-and-run death”, August 20, 2014