A Bowie County grand jury indicted a Queen City, Texas, man Wednesday in connection with a fatal car crash in April.
Tyler Reed Pate, 24, allegedly struck a Toyota Avalon in the right lane as he drove a Ford Fusion in the left as the two cars traveled on U.S. Hwy. 59 in Bowie County just outside Texarkana, Texas, on the night of April 12. The Avalon’s driver, 57, was taken to a Texarkana hospital with serious injuries while the Avalon’s passenger, 53-year-old Edna Morgan, died of her injuries in a local hospital.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Pate smelled of alcohol and could barely stand when Texas Department of Public Safety troopers spoke to him following the collision.
“His eyes were red, bloodshot and glassy and his speech was slurred,” states an affidavit signed by DPS Trooper Jason Green. “I also noticed that Pate was very unsteady on his feet. Pate almost fell numerous times.”
Pate’s blood alcohol level allegedly registered .14 on a portable breathalyzer, well above the limit of .08 at which drivers are considered too impaired to legally drive on public roadways. Pate gave his consent to have his blood drawn and the sample was sent to the DPS crime lab for analysis. Pate allegedly admitted to officers that he had taken a “Xanax bar” at 4 p.m. the afternoon of the crash and “one small piece Fentanyl.” Xanax is a tranquilizer and Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid.
A Bowie County grand jury indicted Pate for intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault Wednesday. If convicted, Pate faces two to 20 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter and two to 10 years for intoxication assault. Both offenses also include the possibility of a fine up to $10,000.
Pate’s case has been assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Pate is expected to appear before Tidwell for arraignment on the charges next month.