Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another tragedy involving drunk driving

A real tragedy we posted about yesterday. Now the driver of the other vehicle will get charged with Intoxication manslaughter and I would expect a lawsuit to be filed against the fire department and the EMT's at the scene.

UPDATE: Woman left for dead dies

Brian Chasnoff: Express-News

A Texas State University senior who was presumed dead after a traffic collision and left unattended in the wreckage for more than two hours in near-freezing temperatures died of her injuries Monday afternoon, officials said.

Erica N. Smith, 23, was pronounced dead at Brooke Army Medical Center at 2 p.m., two hours before Fire Chief Charles Hood held a news conference at which he refused to accept responsibility for the misdiagnosis of her condition.

Smith — who at the time of the crash was alive, suffering from a head injury and in critical condition — was left early Sunday without aid at the site, covered in a yellow tarp, while two others who had been in the same vehicle were taken to BAMC with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the other car, Jenny Ann Ybarra, 28, was taken to University Hospital for a blood draw and because she had complained of back pain, police said. Ybarra was later charged with intoxication assault.

It was not known late Monday whether earlier treatment would have saved Smith's life, or the extent of her injuries when she arrived at the hospital. But the two-hour lapse between the time of the crash and when Smith finally received care upset at least one of her relatives.

"It is unfathomable to me that my little cousin sat, bleeding, under a tarp and in the cold while receiving no medical attention," wrote Kimberly McGuire, a cousin of Smith's, in an e-mail to an Express-News reporter. "I can't help but wonder if her injuries would be less severe had she received the prompt medical treatment she deserved."