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Intoxication assault case headed to grand jury

Intoxication assault case headed to grand jury

November 8th, 2018 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

Tyler Briann Musselwhite

A woman accused of being drunk when she caused a crash on a highway that ended her own eight-month pregnancy and seriously injured another driver was in court Tuesday to address a charge of intoxication assault.

Tyler Briann Musselwhite, 25, was reportedly eight months pregnant and four times the .08 blood alcohol limit at which drivers are considered legally impaired when she crossed the center line and struck another car Aug. 3 on U.S. Highway 59 in Bowie County, according to a probable cause affidavit used to create the following account.

Musselwhite is accused of striking a Hyundai Sonata being driven in the inside northbound lane by a 31-year-old woman after crossing from the inside southbound lane at approximately 8 p.m. A pickup traveling in front of the Hyundai managed to avoid the crash, but the Hyundai's front quarter panel was hit by Musselwhite's oncoming Mitsubishi.

The two cars reportedly became entangled, spinning in a counter-clockwise direction before separating. Musselwhite's car skidded sideways before rolling onto its right side, partially ejecting Musselwhite, who was not wearing a seat belt.

"Musselwhite was lying on the pavement with her front half outside the front passenger's window, her bottom half still inside the vehicle, and the top of the car frame resting on her torso," the affidavit states. "First responders were able to lift the vehicle and free Musselwhite."

Musselwhite was rushed into surgery after transport to a local hospital and found to have suffered damage to several organs and the loss of her unborn child. The Hyundai's driver had to be extracted from her car and was determined to have suffered broken legs, a broken pelvis, a broken arm and head injuries.

Witnesses who helped free Musselwhite from her wrecked car allegedly reported a strong odor of alcohol and a partially consumed bottle of vodka was allegedly recovered from the mangled Mitsubishi. Testing of Musselwhite's blood conducted at the hospital prior to surgery allegedly showed a blood alcohol level of .329. A sample of Musselwhite's blood was sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab for testing as well. Those results are not included in the affidavit.

At a hearing Tuesday at the Bi-State Justice Building in Texarkana before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart, plans to present the case to a grand jury for formal indictment were discussed by Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and members of the Bowie County Public Defenders Office.

Intoxication assault is punishable by two to 10 years in prison. Musselwhite is being held in the Bowie County jail.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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