The woman charged with murder in a drunken-driving crash that killed a 10-year-old girl also had cocaine in her system, police testified Tuesday in a preliminary hearing.
Sequoyah Collins’ attorney argued unsuccessfully for Collins’ murder charge to be reduced to manslaughter. But Judge Lindsay Hughes Thurston sent the murder, DUI, assault and wanton endangerment charges to the grand jury for review. The grand jury ultimately will decide what charges Collins will face.
Collins, 24, was allegedly driving more than 80 mph with an “extreme level of alcohol intoxication” when she ran a red light and struck a car at Tates Creek Road and Lansdowne Drive July 5, police said previously. The speed limit is 45 mph in the area.
Alexia Gomez Hernandez died at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. She and three other children along with two adults were in the car that was hit.
A Lexington officer testified that the driver of the car Collins struck told police he drank earlier in the night but had stopped a couple of hours before driving. He did not show signs of having alcohol in his system, police said, and a blood-alcohol test was not administered.
One of the juveniles suffered a broken femur and broken hip, while another suffered a broken femur, officer Stephen Dabkowski testified. The children ranged in age from 9 to 12 years old.
The passengers told police they were wearing seat belts, but it could not be proven due to the severity of the crash, Dabkowski said. The driver was wearing a seat belt.
A blood-alcohol test was administered to Collins four hours after the crash. Results showed she had a 0.211 BAC — nearly three times higher than the legal limit of .08 — along with cocaine metabolites in her system, Dabkowski testified.
Collins showed an “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” Dabkowski said.
Collins refused a breath test when she arrived at the jail, but police received a warrant to have Collins’ blood drawn, Sgt. Randall Combs said last week.
Initially charged with DUI, Collins’ additional charges were announced Sept. 3. Her bond has been set at $530,000.