AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police arrested a woman accused in a deadly multi-vehicle crash in northeast Austin on Monday.
According to Austin Police Department, officers responded to the 12200 block of Dessau Road at 1:51 p.m. after reports of a crash and a driver of one of the vehicles outside her car holding her head.
Officers saw five vehicles that were involved: a Toyota Corolla, an Infiniti, a Dodge Ram, an Audi and a Capital Metro bus. At the scene, police said witnesses identified Octavia Antoinette Scales, 36, as the driver of the Toyota and the car that caused the crash.
Inside Scales’ vehicle, Austin Fire Department and Austin-Travis County EMS crews staged a rescue of a passenger — Latesha D. Washington, 46, who was transported to the hospital and later died from her injuries.
Officers observed Scales being disoriented, so she was taken for field sobriety tests where police said she had bloodshot/glassy eyes, wobbly balance, body tremors, memory loss and confused speech.
The detective reports Scales’ blood alcohol content was 0.000 at 4:38 p.m., indicating that she was not under the impairment of alcohol. She did, however, tell the officer that she’d been smoking marijuana while driving and had previously taken blood pressure medication, a muscle relaxer and a nerve blocker.
While she received treatment for her possible head injuries, it was ultimately decided by officers that Scales — who had worn her seatbelt, officers noted — had been unable to safely operate a vehicle prior to the crash.
The detective said during their interview Scales tried blaming the crash on the deceased Washington before admitting to marijuana use. During the investigation, APD says it was discovered that Scales has multiple arrests and convictions for drug and driving while intoxicated offenses.
Police reported Scales was driving northbound on Dessau at a high rate of speed before crashing into three of the vehicles. The impact of Scales’ vehicle then caused the bus to push into the Audi.
Scales is charged with second degree felony intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle.