A New Windsor woman was indicted after a police investigation found she was impaired by drugs and was responsible for a crash in January 2019 that caused life-threatening injuries to another driver.
A grand jury indicted Katherine M. Turvey, 38, of the 3700 block of Hooper Road, on Dec. 19 in Carroll County Circuit Court and charged her with one count each of second-degree assault, causing a life threatening injury as a result of negligent driving while impaired by drugs, causing a life threatening injury as a result of negligent driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), driving while impaired by drugs, driving while impaired by a CDS and possession of a CDS.
None of the charges are felonies. Second-degree assault carries the steepest potential penalty, with a maximum of 10 years incarceration under Maryland sentencing guidelines. The charge of causing a life threatening injury as a result of negligent driving while impaired by drugs has a maximum penalty of two years, and the charge of causing a life threatening injury as a result of negligent driving while impaired by a CDS has a max penalty of three years.
Turvey was released on her own recognizance Dec. 27 with conditions that prohibit her from driving and require her to undergo regular alcohol and drug screenings. An additional bail review was scheduled for Jan. 22 and a court date was set for Feb. 27.
The crash occurred nearly a year ago, on Jan. 18, 2019. The Times obtained a detailed crash investigation report from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Three cars were involved in the Jan. 18 crash, according to the report. A Ford F-350 driven by a Westminster man and a Honda HR-V driven by an Ellicott City man were stopped at a light on Kate Wagner Road where it intersects with Md. 27 as the drivers were traveling west. The Honda was stopped directly behind the Ford truck.
Turvey, driving a Chevrolet Cavalier, came up behind the stopped vehicles, traveling faster than the speed limit, and failed to stop. The front of her vehicle collided with the rear of the Honda, pushing it into the Ford. The Honda deflected off of the Ford, crossed over the eastbound lane and struck a guardrail on the shoulder, according to the report.
Members of the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene and they needed to cut into the Honda to remove the driver, who was then taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries to his spine, ribs, and internal organs. The two other drivers, including Turvey, were able to exit their vehicles without help and refused medical treatment.
Investigators met with the driver of the Honda in November to get a statement. He told them he was stopped in a line of traffic, was hit from behind and “immediately had back pain and had trouble breathing,” the report stated. He also said Turvey did not attempt to help him or speak with him.
A Sheriff’s Office investigator who interviewed Turvey at the scene believed her to be under the influence of some substance and performed a field sobriety test. Turvey told police she was not impaired, according to the report, but police noted slurred speech, swaying and repeated difficulty staying awake.
A breath test did not detect signs of alcohol in Turvey’s system, according to the report, but a blood test analyzed by forensic investigators returned substances including the main byproduct used to identify cocaine use and etizolam, a sedative.
When investigators searched the Chevrolet driven by Turvey, they found tablets, pills and capsules, which were sent to the Maryland State Police lab for testing and the results were returned Nov. 1, the report states.
The lab results found one tablet to be a sleep disorder medication, which was classified as a schedule four controlled substance, and was listed in the indictment as the reason for the CDS possession charge. Schedule four substances can be medically approved and carry a low potential for abuse.