Belton woman charged with intoxication manslaughter

By Glynis Crawford Smith

Highland Lakes Newspapers

 

Candice Rae Buckley, 26, of Belton has been arrested on charges of intoxication assault and homicide with a vehicle, in connection with the Sept. 3 four-car fatality accident on U.S. 281 north of Burnet.

The accident occurred not long after 9 a.m. that Saturday morning.

Roselee Rodriguez, 26, and her seven-year-old son, West Adair Jr., of San Antonio died when they were thrown from their 2003 Ford Expedition in a head-on collision with a northbound auto forced into her path by a 1998 Lexus, driven by by Buckley. The victim's three-year-old son, Isreal Rodriguez, survived the crash after being treated at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin.

Serious injury to Lacy K. Pearson, 52, driver of the 2014 Dodge pickup that collided with Rodriguez, led to the assault charge.

Other Burnet residents in Pearson's pickup less seriously injured were Rhonda Pearson, 53; Callie Pearson, 22; Angel Dodd, 14, and two-year-old Natalie Robertson.

Buckley's Lexus went on to strike a 2009 Ford F150, driven by Todd Weaver, 46, of Georgetown, as he left a private road.

According arrest warrants, sworn by Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper Marc Chambers, Buckley's passenger, James Joseph Isaiah Pratt, identified himself at the scene as the driver of the Lexus.

“Both parties later retracted these statements upon realizing the severity of the crash,” read Trooper Chambers statement. “Additionally, I received several signed witness statements placing Buckley as the driver of the vehicle causing the crash.”

Buckley, whose driver's license was suspended, according to warrant details, signed an affidavit to that effect.

The warrant stated that, inside the Lexus, a used hypodermic needle syringe was found. On Buckley's person was a used glass methamphetamine pipe, as well as a used marijuana pipe. Toxicology reports indicated positive tests for amphetamines, cannabis and ethanol, according to the warrant.

Buckley was arrested in Bell County Dec. 3 and transferred to Burnet County, where she remained as of Tuesday Dec. 12. She has been booked on one, third degree felony charge of Intoxication Assault with a Vehicle Causing Serious Bodily Injury, $15,000 bond, and two, second degree felony charges of Intoxication Manslaughter with a Vehicle, each with bond set at $100,000 bond.

The warrants were issued by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead, coincidentally the judge called to the scene Sept. 3 to pronounce the victims' death.

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