Prosecutor: Driver was huffing gas before deadly Fairview collision

MERIDIAN -- A Meridian woman accused of causing a chain-reaction wreck that killed another driver had inhaled compressed gas before the crash, prosecutors say.

Shelly Wilson, 52, is charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of 73-year-old Patricia Ann Shannon of Meridian.

The crash happened Thursday on Fairview Avenue east of Eagle Road. According to police, Wilson did not brake before rear-ending Shannon's Buick, causing it to collide with two other vehicles. Shannon was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Prosecutors said at Wilson's Monday hearing that the suspect had purchased a four-pack of compressed gas at Walmart just before the wreck. Officers discovered the package was opened, and one of the containers was about a quarter empty.

RELATED: Meridian woman charged with manslaughter in deadly Fairview crash

Police suspect that Wilson had been huffing the gas just before she slammed into Shannon's car. She failed a horizontal gaze test officers use to determine drug impairment, and has no memory of the crash, the prosecutor says.

A blood sample was taken from Wilson, but the test results are not yet back.

Wilson was taken to the hospital after the wreck, and appeared in court Monday with a cast on her arm. She was released from the hospital and booked into the Ada County Jail on Saturday.

Judge Terry McDaniel set Wilson's bond at $500,000, citing "concern for the safety of the public."

Wilson is due back in court Oct. 6. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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