Crime

May 15, 2014

Fort Worth police await blood tests on wrong-way driver in fatal crash

A police sergeant said the driver showed no signs of intoxication or of being under the influence of drugs at the scene of the wreck but that police found what may be synthetic marijuana in his wallet.

Police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine whether a man suspected of driving the wrong way on Trinity Boulevard on Friday was under the influence of drugs when he hit an SUV head-on in a crash that killed an Arlington woman.

Sgt. Cynthia Blake, supervisor of the traffic investigation unit, said police saw no signs at the scene that the man was driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs but found what may be synthetic marijuana in his wallet.

She said blood tests are expected to take several weeks.

The wreck occurred shortly before 6 p.m. Friday in the 11500 block of Trinity Boulevard.

Witnesses told police that the driver was speeding in a maroon van, headed east in the westbound lanes, when he clipped a white car before crashing head-on into a black sport utility vehicle. The collision sparked a chain reaction of wrecks involving three more vehicles, according to Cpl. Tracey Knight, a police spokeswoman.

Firefighters had to extricate the SUV’s male driver and a female passenger from the wreckage. The woman, identified as Malinda Miller, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The van rolled into an adjacent traffic lane after the initial collision and caught fire. Responding officers put out the fire, Knight said.

The van driver, a 27-year-old Euless man, suffered serious injuries in the wreck and was taken by helicopter ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital.

Traffic investigation detectives obtained a warrant to get a blood sample from the driver, who is not being identified by the Star-Telegram because he has not been arrested.

The driver was not listed as a patient at the hospital Thursday, a spokeswoman said, indicating that he may have been released. He could not be reached for comment.

Blake said investigators will consult with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office about possible charges if blood tests reveal the driver had drugs in his system.

Three others suffered injuries deemed either non-life-threatening or minor by police, according to Knight.

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