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Drunk Driving Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Texas Toll Road Worker

A 48-year-old toll road worker died last week after being hit by a car on the Sam Houston Tollway near Antoine.

According to Harris County officers, a speeding Camero slammed into a concrete barrier near a toll booth at the Sam North plaza on Wednesday night around 11 p.m. The impact of the collision caused the sports car to flip, and in a domino-effect the flipping car hit the tollway worker. It was reported that she died instantly after being thrown 75 yards by the impact.

The 38-year-old driver of the sports car was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. A blood draw at the hospital uncovered that the driver was drunk at the time of the fatal car wreck. She was released at the hospital because of a malfunctioning machine, but later tests revealed that her blood-alcohol content (BAC) was .165, more than twice Texas's legal limit of .08. She was arrested the next afternoon on a felony charge of intoxication manslaughter.

Investigators plan to examine the Camero's black box in order to establish how fast the driver was speeding at the time of the accident. One investigator noted, "There was no indication of braking. But just from the aftermath of the collision, it's pretty clear to us that she was traveling a very high rate of speed."

The 48-year-old toll road worker is the first tollway employee killed at work since the tollway agency was created in 1983. The tollway agency has around 900 employees.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Driver charged in crash killing toll plaza worker," 5/27/11.

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