60-year-old woman killed in collision on Cuivre River Bridge

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – A 60-year-old woman was killed after her vehicle was struck by another car going the wrong way on the border of St. Charles and Lincoln counties. Now a family is left to deal with the tragedy.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the accident occurred at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 79 on the Cuivre River Bridge.

Cpl. Justin Wheetley with the MSHP said Alonzo Cannon was behind the wheel of a 2008 Dodge Ram traveling northbound when he drifted across lanes, crashing head-on with Zola Rodey, who was driving a 1999 Jeep Cherokee.

Rodey was pronounced dead at the scene. Cannon, who is in his 50s, was transported to the hospital in serious condition with multiple fractures.

“Officers at the scene had reason to believe he was intoxicated during the crash and placed him under arrest for suspicion of operating a vehicle in an intoxicated position,” Wheetley said.

The crash shut down Highway 79 while emergency crews cleared the scene.

State police are awaiting toxicology reports to come back before going to the prosecutor to get charges filed against Cannon.

“We as officers and first responders, that’s the worst part of our job, being out on these, investigating any fatalities, we want to encourage people to be as safe as possible,” Wheetley said. https://fox2now.com/2019/01/16/60-year-old-woman-killed-in-collision-on-cuiver-river-bridge/

Man convicted of drunken driving after his car slammed into ambulance

A Winston-Salem man whose car smashed into an ambulance carrying a 2-year-old boy early last year has been convicted of drunken driving.

Jose Martin Duran Romero, 28, of Neston Drive was found guilty by a Forsyth County judge Monday of driving while impaired, failing to reduce speed and driving without an operator’s license.

The charges were connected to a collision on Feb. 11, 2018, on U.S. 52 near downtown Winston-Salem. The ambulance was rushing Braylon Hunter Jenkins, 2, suffering from a brain tumor, from a Virginia hospital to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Braylon died a day after the wreck, but his cause of death was the brain tumor, not injuries that were the result of the crash, experts determined.

Judge Ted Kazakos of Forsyth District Court determined that Romero was guilty after a trial Monday afternoon that lasted more than two hours. Kazakos gave Romero an active prison sentence of 12 months. That’s the most Romero could have received based on his record and other factors in the case. Romero had no previous DWI convictions. He will get credit for time he has already served awaiting trial. He has 27 days left to serve in his sentence, Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Jane Garrity said Tuesday.

According to Winston-Salem police, Romero, driving a 2003 Honda Accord, hit the ambulance on its left side, causing it to overturn near the Liberty Street exit on southbound U.S. 52. Romero’s car ran off the road.

According to court records, Romero had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice North Carolina’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. The amount of alcohol in Romero’s system at the time was one of three aggravating factors Garrity alleged in court.

She also alleged a grossly aggravating factor — that Romero’s negligent driving resulted in serious injury to Brylon.

Braylon was being taken from Norton Community Hospital in Norton, Va., to Wake Forest Baptist.

Braylon had been nauseated and vomiting for several days before being taken to the Virginia hospital. When he got there, he began having seizures, and doctors found an 8 centimeter mass on the left side of his brain.

The key issue in this case was whether the crash directly caused Braylon’s death.   

According to an amended autopsy report in December, the answer to that question is no.

The updated autopsy report said the primary cause of death was complications from the brain tumor. The initial autopsy report said a contributing factor in Braylon’s death was a traumatic extubation, meaning that the force of the collision knocked out his breathing tube, resulting in a loss of oxygen to his brain. The amended autopsy report said Braylon died from a loss of oxygen caused by brain swelling because of the tumor, noting that the breathing tube was out for only 15 seconds before another tube was put in. That wasn’t enough time for it to have been a contributing factor.

Assistant District Attorney Matt Breeding told the Winston-Salem Journal in December that because the new autopsy showed there was no evidence that the crash caused Braylon’s death, prosecutors could not charge Romero with felony death by motor vehicle.

Prosecutors also could not charge him with second-degree murder, which requires evidence of malice. One way to prove malice is if Romero had previous DWI convictions, which would show he knew he should not be drinking and driving. Another way would be if he had a driver’s license and it had been revoked, showing Romero knew he was not supposed to drive.

But Romero didn’t have any previous DWI convictions and he did not have a license that had been revoked.

Garrity said Tuesday that Walter Thomas III and Christopher Simmons testified at the trial. Thomas and Simmons were in a car traveling in the northbound lane when they saw the collision. They went across the median to help Braylon and Romero.

Evan Trawick, a paramedic, also testified during the trial.

Braylon’s’ family, including his mother, did not attend the trial, Garrity said. His mother, Lyndsay Oakes of Wise, Va., was in the ambulance when the incident happened.

Garrity said Romero’s attorney did not present evidence in the case. In criminal trials, a defendant is not required to present evidence and the burden is on the prosecutor to prove a defendant’s guilt.

Laraque Stewart, Romero’s attorney, declined Tuesday to comment on the case. https://www.journalnow.com/news/crime/winston-salem-man-convicted-of-drunken-driving-after-his-car/article_03388bee-6d7c-5525-baaf-0b19fb8f593a.html

Officer accused of rear-ending vehicle while driving drunk, then resisting arrest

Anne Arundel County Police Sgt. Kenneth Collier has been suspended without pay following his arrest.

Anne Arundel County Police Sgt. Kenneth Collier has been suspended without pay following his arrest.

A longtime Maryland police officer was suspended without pay after allegedly rear-ending another vehicle while driving drunk and then fighting officers who arrived at the scene.

Sgt. Kenneth Collier of the Anne Arundel County Police Department was arrested Saturday after officers responded to an accident in Crofton.

“Through their investigation officers believed Collier was under the influence of alcohol,” police said in a statement. “When officers initiated the arrest for the suspected DWI, Collier resisted arrest and assaulted officers on the scene.”

Police say Collier, a 21-year veteran of the department, was off-duty when he rear-ended another vehicle with his truck.

Collier has been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. He has been suspended with pay pending the results of an investigation into the accident, in which no one was injured. https://www.foxnews.com/us/veteran-maryland-officer-accused-of-rear-ending-vehicle-while-driving-drunk-then-resisting-arrest.print

Car suspended midair after three-vehicle accident in New London

Courtesy of fire battalion chief Mark Waters

Courtesy of fire battalion chief Mark Waters3

New London — An accident involving three vehicles at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Boulder Drive left one car partly suspended in midair by a guidewire attached to a telephone pole Saturday night.

Upon arrival at the scene, police said the front of the black sport utility vehicle was suspended about 10 feet in the air while the back tires were on the ground. The other two vehicles were parked and sustained minor damage.

Its driver, Christina MacDonald, 41, of 33 Boulder Drive, was sitting in the front seat uninjured, police said. Once out of the vehicle, police charged MacDonald with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and failure to drive right. The cause of the accident was still not immediately clear Sunday evening. No injuries were reported. 

New London Police and Fire Departments responded, while Eversource was requested to assist in lowering the vehicle. Two poles were struck, causing a power outage to some buildings in the area. New London fire contained various liquids from vehicles involved in the accident, said fire battalion chief Mark Waters.

New London police are investigating. https://www.theday.com/article/20190113/NWS01/190119746/

Meghan Markle’s half-brother arrested for drunken driving in Oregon

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The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leave Windsor Castle in a convertible car after their wedding in Windsor, England, to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP) AP (“Gregory Katz Associated Press”)

Meghan Markle’s Oregon relations are in the news again. This time, it’s her older half brother, Thomas Markle, Jr., who was arrested Friday for driving under the influence of intoxicants in Josephine County.

Oregon State Police stopped the Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex’s brother at 1:33 a.m. early Friday morning.

According to the police report, Markle Jr., 52, who shares a father with the Duchess, “was visibly intoxicated and further impairment was observed” during the traffic stop.

Markle Jr.’s vehicle was towed and he was taken to detox, where he was tested and found to have a blood alcohol level of .11 percent.

This isn’t Markle Jr.’s first brush with the law. Last January, he was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon and menacing stemming from an incident where put a gun to his girlfriend’s head.

Charges were later dropped when the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office was “unable to locate essential victim.”

Duchess Markle is not close to her Oregon family. Before her wedding to the former Prince Harry, now His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, her brother publicly tried to get the prince to cancel the nuptials, calling his sister a “jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage.” https://www.oregonlive.com/trending/2019/01/meghan-markles-half-brother-arrested-for-drunk-driving-in-oregon.html