Over the weekend, we were all horrified by the aftermath of deadly crash at the Oklahoma State Homecoming Parade, which took the life of four people (including a two year old toddler) and injured 44 people.
Adacia Chambers, a 25 year old was arrested and initially charged with DUI. Later, the charges were upgraded to Second Degree Murder. Bond has been set at one million dollars.
But is it a DUI? Results of toxicology have not been released yet.
The New York Daily News reports that:
Blood samples taken shortly after Chambers’ arrest will determine her alcohol toxicology at the time of the deadly collision, though witnesses have suggested she was distraught from losing her job — not drunk.
Chambers was reportedly fired from her part-time job at Stillwater’s Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, leaving the fast food franchise in tears a half hour before the crash, witness Justin Denoya told the Stillwater News Press.
“She didn’t appear to be under the influence,” Denoya said. “She was walking in a straight line and didn’t seem intoxicated.”
The suspect’s attorney, Tony Coleman, contends Chambers was by no means drunk. He smelled no trace of booze on Chambers during a jailhouse visit and did not believe the young woman to be in a “drunken stupor.”
“I absolutely can rule out alcohol,” Coleman added.
He suggested Chambers may have a “mental illness” or “blacked out,” a medical condition that only added to her confusion after the crash. She only remembers being taken out of her wrecked vehicle.
A photo of Chambers’ arrest at the scene shows her still wearing her black Freddy’s T-shirt.
“She doesn’t remember a whole lot about what happened. There was a period where I think … she could have even blacked out,” Coleman said.
Chambers was initially charged with driving under the influence, but police have not released any detail about her alleged intoxication.
This is her mug shot. She does not appear to have red, watery, glassy or blood-shot eyes, or a flushed faced, both of which are typical descriptions of drunk or drug impaired drivers.
Here is some more from CNN.com:
Chambers’ attorney Tony Coleman told CNN on Monday that his client was not drunk, though he said he’s making that determination based on meeting with her hours after the incident.
“I didn’t detect any signs nor was there an odor of alcohol coming from her body,” he said.
His client had a standard field sobriety test, he said. “Her poor performance” on that test led officers to believe she was “impaired,” he said.
Coleman said he believes she may have a mental health issue. During the hour he met with Chambers, he said, she gave “inappropriate answers” to his questions. He also said she had a “flat affect” when reacting to his description of the car crashing into the parade.
On Sunday, Coleman said that mental illness runs in his client’s family.
He also told reporters Sunday that “there have been warning signs coming from Ms. Chambers for quite some time, for the past few years.”
Coleman wouldn’t elaborate on what he meant by warning signs, but said the first thing he will request when Chambers appears before a judge Monday is a mental health evaluation.
I suggest that we all wait until the toxicology report comes out before making any initial conclusions. Even then, we should wait until her defense attorney has had a chance to review all the evidence, including the details of how the toxicology tests were conducted.