Weatherford Democrat

Local News

June 25, 2008

Drugs found in vehicle of fatal car crash

Danie M. Huffman

Marijuana was found inside the car which was involved in a fatal weekend crash.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety preliminary report, the crash happened Friday night on Mineral Wells Highway at Saddle Club Road, leaving two people dead.

Around 11 p.m. Friday, Janet E. Barrett, 57, of The Colony, was driving a 1994 Mazda Miata. Robert O. Byrd, also 57, of Weatherford, was driving a 2002 ASVE motorcycle.

Authorities said marijuana was found in Barrett’s vehicle inside a pill bottle with the label taken off.

According to the report, Barrett was traveling east on Highway 180 and Byrd was traveling west.

State Trooper Don DeLukie, the lead accident investigator on scene, was assisted by Trooper Tony Galliton and Mineral Wells State Troopers Donald Wright and Gregory Beverage.

DeLukie said Barrett was traveling east in the west bound lanes when she hit Byrd. He added it is unknown why Barret was in the wrong lane.

A witness reported Byrd having passed them just before the accident happened, but was not speeding.

“It happened at a hilltop,” DeLukie said. “There was no brake marks. There was no skid marks. Neither one of them saw each other until it was too late.”

The posted speed limit is 65 miles-per-hour.

A medical examiner pronounced the pair dead on the scene.

The report stated Barrett was not wearing her seatbelt, but Byrd reportedly was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The front, left side of the Mazda struck the motorcycle, while traveling in the inside westbound lane. DeLukie said Byrd’s motorcycle “shot back to the right and ended in the north barrow ditch, while [Barrett’s] vehicle spun around.”

DeLukie said it will take about 10 to 15 days for an autopsy report to be completed to find if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the fatal crash.

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