Man accused of causing deadly crash appears in court

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A Queen City, Texas, man accused of causing a crash in Bowie County in April which killed one and injured another, appeared in court Monday.

Tyler Reed Pate 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.

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“His eyes were red, bloodshot and glassy and his speech was slurred,” the affidavit states. “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. 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.

At a hearing Monday before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell, the prosecution said it plans to present Pate’s case to a grand jury for indictment this month. If Pate is indicted, the case will be scheduled for trial.

Pate could be charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. Intoxication manslaughter is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and intoxication assault is punishable by two to ten years. Pate is represented by the Bowie County Public Defenders Office. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter are prosecuting. Pate is currently free on bond.

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