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Drug expert said driver in 2012 crash seemed intoxicated

On Tuesday we wrote about the witness testimony that was heard in the trial of a man who is charged with manslaughter after a 2012 accident caused the death of an Oklahoma City woman. As we've continued to follow the story, further reports say that a former police officer and drug recognition expert who went to the hospital after the fatal accident to evaluate the driver suspected that he was under the influence of prescription medication.

At Monday's trial, the former officer described the driver's behavior as being consistent with someone who had consumed a controlled substance. The drug recognition expert went on to say that the man had dry mouth, was slurring his speech and would fall asleep easily if not engaged. During the trial, the former officer played tapes of the driver talking on the day of the accident and a few days later. Reports in the Norman Transcript say the difference was clear.

Adding to the evidence against this man, the officer who arrested him after the collision said he found a prescription bill bottle in the driver's pocket. The bottle contained two types of pills, and at least one was a schedule IV controlled substance. The officer also discovered empty pill bottles in the man's truck. More witness testimony was scheduled to be heard this week.

Unfortunately, it seems likely that this case will be yet another example of the tragedy that can stem from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Despite all of the widely publicized information about the danger of drunk driving, some people continue to ignore their safety and the safety of others by getting behind the wheel when they are intoxicated. Hopefully justice will be appropriately served in this case.

Source: The Norman Transcript, "Photos of fatality accident shown during manslaughter trial," Jessica Bruha, April 16, 2013

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