Driver accused of hitting toll booth worker charged with intoxication manslaughter

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by khou.com staff & Gabe Gutierrez / KHOU 11 NEWS

khou.com

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:47 AM

Updated Friday, May 27 at 11:41 AM

HOUSTON – A 38-year-old Houston woman was charged with intoxication manslaughter Thursday after a crash that killed a toll-booth worker in northwest Harris County late Wednesday night.

Investigators said Julie Little was speeding in a black Camaro westbound on the North Sam Houston Parkway near Antoine around 11 p.m. when she approached a toll booth area.

Apparently, Little never slowed down, and then she swerved at the last minute to head to a different toll booth lane, police said.

Investigators said the Camaro hit a concrete barrier and went airborne, smashing into 48-year-old Sheila Lindsey, who was sweeping in a closed lane.

Lindsey was thrown about 75 yards and died at the scene, deputy constables said.

Little was taken to Houston Northwest Medical Center, where deputy constables tried to test her blood-alcohol level. But the machine was broken, they said, so they were forced to release her from custody.

"We don’t have any investigative hold," Assistant Chief Mark Herman of the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office said. "Some of the municipalities have 24-hour investigative hold where they can hold you legally. We here in the county don’t have that."

Investigators said the test was later administered at a second location, and when the results came back, Little was arrested.

The test showed Little’s BAC was twice the legal limit, investigators said, and the tests showed three other drugs in her system.

Meanwhile, Lindsey’s family was struggling to cope with their loss Thursday.

They said Lindsey had worked as a custodian for the Harris County Toll Road Authority for several years.

"I just miss my baby," said Nettie Moore, Lindsey's mother. "She was a sweet kid. Always had a smile on her face, even when she was in school."

Outside Moore's northwest Houston home, the family gathered to grieve. Lindsey left behind a husband, two kids, and several grandchildren.

"It’s not right," said Jennifer Munoz, Lindsey’s stepdaughter. "She’s supposed to be here with us."

Relatives said they were upset the suspect was ever released from custody in the first place, although they're glad she'd finally been charged.

"The only thing I want is justice," said Robert Daniels, Lindsey's son. "This person should be behind bars for what they done to my momma."

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