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Grapevine police continue fatal crash investigation

A Bedford woman was released from police custody Monday morning, although police said they expected to re-arrest her in connection with the wreck several hours earlier that killed a Denton County man whose motorcycle struck her car in southwest Grapevine.

The 32-year-old woman, whose name was unavailable because she hadn't been booked into jail, faced one charge of intoxication manslaughter, said Sgt. Kim Smith, police spokeswoman.

She had been in police custody at Baylor Medical Center-Grapevine where she was treated and released after the 2002 Honda Civic she drove was involved in a pair of wrecks, beginning around 1:23 a.m. on northbound Texas 121, about a mile west of D/FW Airport.

The first wreck involved the Honda hitting a highway divider, which disabled the car and planted it in a northbound lane without its lights on, Smith said.

Next, however, a 2005 Yamaha sports motorcycle ridden by Mark Askew, 27, of Justin hit the car, Smith said. The impact, she added, was so powerful it made the car flip onto its roof.

Askew, who wore a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene, Smith said.

Initial reports indicated that two motorcycles were involved in the wreck, Smith said.

She noted, however, that Askew was traveling with another motorcycle rider who was ahead of him and avoided the disabled car.

The woman was outside the car when the motorcycle struck, Smith said, but she was hurt earlier when the Honda hit the divider.

Smith explained that although the woman wasn't behind the wheel during the second wreck, officers could still legally charge her for intoxication manslaughter.

"I can understand that there would be some confusion on this," Smith said.

She said investigators believe the woman had an impairment which caused the Honda to hit the divider; it subsequently came to rest in a northbound lane of traffic.

So, if the first wreck hadn't happened, there wouldn't have been a second one, Smith said.

The speed of the motorcycle was undetermined Monday morning, although investigators would try to figure that out as part of the continuing investigation, Smith said.

The highway was closed from the time of the accident until about 5 a.m. while police investigated the accident and cleanup crews cleared the wreckage.

The area is between Texas 121's intersections with Glade Road and Hall-Johnson Road, west of D/FW Airport.

Police closed the road again from 9:30 a.m. Monday to continue the investigation, but they reopened it around 12:30 p.m., Smith said.