Early indicators show a driver involved in a three-vehicle crash might have been intoxicated when she pulled out into oncoming traffic to possibly take her own life Wednesday, Waxahachie police said.
Emergency responders were dispatched at 6:25 p.m. to the northbound lanes of Interstate 35E, at the 397 exit. Police said the driver of a Chevrolet Suburban and Waco resident Laura Michelle Mayeaux, 49, was stopped in a striped zone near the exit ramp prior to the accident. Mayeaux might have pulled out into oncoming traffic with the intent to harm herself, resulting in a collision with a semi-truck and involving a pickup truck, police said. Police are investigating the incident as a possible DWI.
“I know the officers received information from the attending EMS that she smelled of alcohol and that she appeared to be inebriated,” said Lt. Ron Turbeville, with the Waxahachie Police Department. “Basically, based off that from the attending paramedics and firefighters, there was enough evidence there to suggest that she was drinking. That is the reason why we got a warrant for her blood.”
A CareFlite helicopter transported Mayeaux to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas because of the injuries she sustained during the wreck, police said. As of 11:23 a.m. Thursday, Mayeaux’s last known condition at the hospital was reported as critical, said Lt. Todd Woodruff, with the Waxahachie Police Department’s Criminal Investigation division. Mayeaux may have personal ties to the Waxahachie area.
“I am not going to comment on charges right now. We still have a lot of work to do as far a putting all the witness statements together. They are completing the accident report,” said Turbeville. “Once that is done, it will be forwarded to our criminal investigation division, which will determine whether or not to file a case.”
In a previous Waxahachie Daily Light article, Sgt. Mike Lewis, also with the Waxahachie Police Department, said Mayeaux admitted she meant to take her own life.
“We believe the driver of the Suburban to be intoxicated. She has admitted that she was trying to commit suicide,” Lewis said in the article. “She was going at a very slow speed and as soon as the semi came, she pulled out in front of it.”
At the time of the collision it is believed that the Suburban was traveling about 5-10 mph, police said.
Once the Suburban pulled out, it struck the side of the semi-truck, near where the trailer hooks up to the cab, crushing the front end of the vehicle, as seen in raw footage of the wreck.
Turberville said he could not comment if alcohol played a role in the statement Mayeaux made to police, admitting she meant to take her own life.
“No. 1 — we don’t know how intoxicated she really was,” Turbeville said. “So that would be just a guess on my part.”
The accident caused the semi-truck to overturn and block the northbound lanes of traffic, spilling its cargo across the road surface. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas Department of Transportation crews diverted traffic off of I-35E and diverted traffic to exit at Forreston onto U.S. Highway 77.
A detective served the blood warrant to Mayeaux at the hospital. The blood sample was sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s crime lab in Garland.
It is still early in the investigation to have the results of the analysis that would determine Mayeaux’s possible blood alcohol content, Turbeville said.
Police at the scene found an open alcohol container, Turbeville also said. He stated it is still too early to know if Mayeaux is receiving a mental evaluation or mental help at this time.
Paramedics also treated two occupants in the pickup truck and the semi-truck at the scene, Turbeville said.