by Gene Hartley
4:34 PM CST, December 21, 2012
MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- A prosecutor says a man from Niangua was intoxicated at the twice the legal limit when he wrecked his car west of Marshfield last month. That accident killed a passenger who was riding with Timothy Wright. Now the 33-year-old driver is charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The Highway Patrol says the 2002 Ford Taurus station wagon carrying Wright and Janice Heatherly, 42, ran off Highway OO near Woodland Loop on Nov. 17.
“It hit a driveway, went airborne, hit a tree branch, hit the ground, hit a ditch, overturned, struck a tree, and struck the ground,” the trooper wrote in his probable cause statement.
Heatherly died at the scene.
“Wright had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his breath and his eyes were watery, bloodshot, and glassy,” a trooper wrote. “Wright’s speech was slurred.”
The trooper says Wright provided two blood samples. The prosecutor’s complaint says the blood tested at .18 percent alcohol. The legal limit for drivers is .08 percent.
A trooper found that Wright had a suspended driver license from Kansas and a driving while intoxicated conviction in Kansas in 2001. He had no Missouri driver license.
If Wright is convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he could get a prison sentence of two to seven years, or up to a year in a county jail, and/or a fine up to $5,000. A judge set his bond at $50,000.
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