St. Patrick’s Day crash leads to intoxication assault charge

A St. Patrick’s Day collision on Interstate 30 in Bowie County has led to a charge of intoxication assault.

Linda Renee Nelson, 47, was allegedly under the influence of hydrocodone and alcohol when she collided with another vehicle March 17 on I-30 near the 216 mile marker in Bowie County, according to a probable cause affidavit. Nelson allegedly told a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper she had taken the pain killer about two hours earlier and had consumed one and a half beers.

The driver of the car Nelson is accused of hitting suffered a broken shoulder and a broken bone in her back, according to the affidavit of DPS Trooper Chad Turner. A doctor at St. Michael’s Hospital in Texarkana, Texas, told Turner the injured driver is facing a “long recovery.”

Nelson allegedly failed field sobriety tests and was unsteady on her feet following the wreck. Nelson agreed to a breathalyzer which allegedly showed a blood alcohol level of .11. Drivers with an alcohol level of .08 or higher are considered impaired under Texas law.

Nelson appeared before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart for a hearing Wednesday. Her case has not been presented to a grand jury for formal indictment. Chief Public Defender Rick Shumaker asked Lockhart for a June court date so he has time to review the state’s evidence and meet with Nelson. Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said the state is still waiting for the results of a blood sample drawn from Nelson after the crash and has a video and supplemental accident reports to turn over to the defense.

According to the affidavit, Nelson has no prior criminal history. She is currently free on bond. Lockhart scheduled Nelson to return to court on his June 7 pre-indictment docket.

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