On the night of Dec. 6, 2014, the lives of two families were forever changed in an instant. A 20-year old man died at the scene and a woman in her 30s faced intoxication manslaughter charges after a collision at the corner of 7th Street and Bryant Boulevard.
According to a San Angelo police report, officers responded to the scene at approximately 11:55 p.m. Dec. 6. When police arrived on the scene, they found a white Dodge Ram pickup truck and a red Honda Civic passenger car in the intersection. Officers at the scene thought one of the drivers was severely injured and called for additional help from the SAPD’s traffic section.
The driver of the Honda, Aaron Allen, died at the scene. The driver of the Dodge, Jaime Tankersley, was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter.
According to court documents, an officer requested that Tankersley submit to a field sobriety test, which she refused. Three beer cans with red lipstick on them were found in the Dodge. Tankersley admitted to having consumed one glass of wine. A search warrant was issued by 119th District Judge Ben Woodward Dec. 7 for a blood specimen and she was taken to Shannon Medical Center where a specimen was collected. The results of the specimen were turned over to police. Those results were not available in court documents obtained.
After a lengthy investigation by San Angelo police, the case was presented to a 119th District Court grand jury. The grand jury, after considering all of the evidence presented during a June 30 seating, returned a criminal charge of driving while intoxicated against Tankersley. The charge of intoxicated manslaughter was no billed by the grand jury, meaning there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the charge.
According to a July 1, 2015, media release from the 119th District Attorney’s Office, the grand jury considered reports from the SAPD, eyewitness statements, photographs, toxicology reports and blood test results. Additionally, the release said findings of two separate accident reconstructionists were considered in the case. Each of the experts concluded that the Civic, driven by Allen, was traveling at 70 mph or more at the time of the collision. Both experts concluded that the primary cause of the collision and Allen’s death was speed. No other causes were given in the release.
Bryan Clayton, who prosecuted the case, said in the DA office’s statement: “This accident was tragic. San Angelo Police Department officers did an outstanding job of working to get at the facts of what actually occurred and following the evidence. While this may not be the charge some anticipated, scientific measurements and calculations along with eyewitness accounts properly led this investigation rather than the emotions of the moment. This does not lessen the sense of loss of a fine young man, but we must follow the facts where they lead us.”
Tankersley pleaded no contest to driving while intoxicated in the December 2014 collision Monday in Judge Ben Nolen’s court.
Tankersley was sentenced to 180 days confinement in county jail. Her sentence was probated for two years. She will be under the supervision of the Concho Valley Community Supervision and Corrections Department for the length of her probation. Tankersley was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and $417 in court costs. She will have to serve 72 hours of confinement as a plea condition on or before April 18, 2016, according to court documents.
Her vehicle will be outfitted with an ignition interlock device that will remain throughout the duration of her probation.