Court docs: Woman was high on meth, driving with defective brakes in Wakulla crash that killed bicyclist
WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) – The driver of an SUV was high on methamphetamine when she hit and killed a cyclist near Crawfordville last fall, according to Florida Highway Patrol investigators. Troopers also discovered her Chevy Suburban’s brakes were in such bad shape she had to put the pedal to the floor to start slowing down.
Christy Wales is charged with vehicular homicide for the Sept. 25, 2021, crash along Shadeville Road that killed Chet Smith, 69, of Tallahassee.
An FHP incident report filed in the case says toxicology screening on a blood sample from Wales found high levels of methamphetamine in her system, indicating recent ingestion of the drug.
Wales was driving her Chevy Suburban west on Shadeville Rd. around midday, while Smith was cycling along the side of the road in the same direction, the report says.
Smith was wearing bright-colored clothing and had a rear LED flashing light on his bicycle, while the weather was clear.
Troopers estimate Wales was going over the 55 mph speed limit, driving at anywhere from 60-72 mph, but the investigation found she had a clear line of sight to Smith nearly 3,000 feet ahead of her, giving her about 30 seconds to react and avoid hitting him. An inspection of the scene found no evidence of braking before the collision, according to the incident report.
Investigators also found the brakes on Wales’ SUV were “defective.” A passenger who had been riding with her earlier in the day told troopers Wales had to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor before the vehicle would start to slow down, according to the investigative report. FHP found Waled had recently bought new brake parts, but they were inside the SUV and not installed.
Wales’ arraignment in Wakulla County court is scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 6.
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