A Texarkana woman who was drunk when she caused a crash that ended her own pregnancy and seriously injured another driver on a Bowie County highway was sentenced last week to eight years in a Texas prison.
Tyler Briann Musselwhite, 26, pleaded guilty March 5 to intoxication assault at a hearing before 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison and accepted a sentence two years shy of the maximum punishment allowed. Musselwhite was eight months pregnant 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.
Musselwhite was four times the .08 blood alcohol limit when she struck Mallory Dauzat's Hyundai Sonata, according to a probable cause affidavit. Musselwhite hit Dauzat 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 struck by Musselwhite's oncoming Mitsubishi.
The two cars reportedly became entangled, spinning in a counterclockwise direction before separating. Musselwhite's car skidded sideways before rolling onto its right side, partially ejecting Musselwhite, who was not wearing a seat belt.
The Jaws of Life had to be used to extract Dauzat from her car. She suffered multiple broken bones and other injuries from which she is still recovering.
Witnesses who helped free Musselwhite from her wrecked car reported a strong odor of alcohol, and a partially consumed bottle of vodka was 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.
Bowie County court records show Musselwhite was arrested for driving while intoxicated, second offense, in June and was free on bond at the time of the crash in August.
Musselwhite was represented by the Bowie County Public Defender's Office. Assistant District Attorney Randle Smolarz managed the prosecution.