Tankersley Cleared of Intoxication Manslaughter Charges by Grand Jury
The driver of a white Ram 2500 pickup truck that was reported to have hit the Honda Civic driven by ASU student Aaron Allen that killed him on Dec. 6, 2014 was not indicted for intoxication manslaughter by the Tom Green County Grand Jury.
However, for that incident, Jaime Kaylan Tankersley did receive an indictment for Driving While Intoxicated, a Class B Misdemeanor, which is a much-downgraded charge from felony intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle.
Justice of the Peace Eddie Howard pronounced Allen dead at the scene of the crash on Dec. 7, 2014. Today he confirmed that the Allen autopsy report came back clean. “The report said there was no alcohol, or drugs in his (Allen’s) system,” Howard said this afternoon.
The crash happened minutes before midnight underneath the overpass on N. Bryant Blvd. at the Houston Harte Expy. Tankersley was driving northbound, and her husband was in the passenger seat. As Tankersley made the left hand turn onto 7th St., the access road to the Houston Harte, Allen was southbound on Bryant. The two vehicles collided at the left turn lane. Allen’s Honda Civic was wrapped around a pole that holds up traffic signal lights. Allen was extracted by the Jaws-of-Life, but died in the crash.
Police charged Tankersley for intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle the next day. She was booked into the Tom Green County Jail and released 36 hours later on a bond.
In the initial reports immediately following the crash, police said that witnesses told them that Allen was traveling at a high rate of speed. “That (speed) could be a contributing factor,” Police Sgt. Korby Kennedy said early the morning of Dec. 8 at the crash scene. Police reported the next day that alcohol was a contributing factor of the crash, and that Tankersley, who was turning left, failed to yield the right-of-way to Allen’s Honda. But the police press release omitted any report of speed of the driver of the Civic.
The grand jury indictment is the culmination of the criminal proceedings of the crash.
There remains a civil lawsuit against Tankersley for wrongful death. James Slaughter, Allen’s father, filed a $1 million wrongful death lawsuit against Tankersley in February, a charge Tankersley denies, according to court filings by her attorney Keith Davis. Allen’s mother, Ruth Ruiz, joined the lawsuit in May.
Aaron Allen, 20, was a student at ASU when the tragedy ended his life. He was recognized as a notable football player while attending Lake View High School two years prior.
This is a breaking story. Expect updates.
Update 5:18 p.m.
A press release issued by the 119th District Court District Attorney is quoted in a San Angelo Standard-Times article. San Angelo LIVE! did not receive a press release from the 119th DA.
The SAST quoted the release as Allen’s Honda Civic was travelling at a speed of 70 mph or more, and experts concluded that speed was the primary cause of the crash.
From earlier interviews with police, we know that the SAPD traffic division conducted the investigation, headed by Traffic Investigator and Officer Brian Bylsma. There were two reconstructions of the fatal crash made to determine the primary cause.
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