A Tennessee woman is facing a raft of charges including vehicular homicide for her alleged role in a three-vehicle crash on the evening of May 9 that claimed the life of a Harriman woman. Police say that the 61-year-old Oak Ridge woman was under the influence and driving recklessly immediately before the accident, which took place on Oak Ridge Turnpike near Jefferson Avenue in Oak Ridge at approximately 9:47 p.m.
According to an Oak Ridge Police Department report, the woman ran a red light at Oak Ridge Turnpike and South Illinois Avenue, struck a street sign and was driving on the sidewalk before the crash. She was taken into custody and transported to an Anderson County detention facility when responding police officers determined that she was impaired. The accident caused a stretch of Oak Ridge Turnpike to be closed to traffic for over four hours as first responders went about their duties.
Emergency services personnel extracted a 37-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl from one of the vehicles involved and transported them to a trauma center in Knoxville. The woman subsequently succumbed to her injuries. The condition of the child was not immediately disclosed. The driver of the third vehicle involved was unhurt according to police. Officers from the Clinton Police Department assisted the ORPD with their investigation, which was said to be ongoing.
DUI penalties can be severe if a conviction is obtained, especially when an accident causes serious injuries or death. One potential way for a defense attorney to challenge drunk driving charges could be to question the way that field sobriety tests were conducted or the calibration of the Breathalyzer.
Source: WYSH News, OR woman charged with vehicular homicide, DUI after 3-car crash, Jim Harris, May 9, 2016