By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –A Texas Tech student faces intoxicated manslaughter and intoxicated assault charges after a fatal accident that took the life of Linda Smaltz, 54.
It happened Friday night just after 7 p.m. on 4th street between Buddy Holly and Avenue L. Jeena Elizabeth Roberts, 21, was driving a Chrysler 300 east when police say she rear ended a Ford SUV.
The impact pushed both vehicles and flipped the SUV which hit the concrete barrier. Both vehicles crossed over the median and into the blocked off side of the road. Police say Smaltz was wearing her seatbelt, but at some point the back seat of the SUV broke and ejected her.
Construction for the last phase of the Marsha Sharp Freeway is going on where the accident happened. Because of the construction the speed limit in the area is 35 miles per hour. Police say witnesses who saw the accident estimate Roberts speed between 75 and 80 miles per hour. Lubbock police believe the SUV was going 35 mph. The exact speeds of both vehicles will be determined through the investigation.
A second passenger who was sitting in the back seat of the SUV, Karen Wolf, 52, was partially ejected as well and was transported to University Medical Center with serious injuries but is listed in stable condition. The driver and a third passenger in the SUV suffered only minor injuries.
Roberts was taken into custody, but first transported for medical clearance with minor injuries. Her passenger, also a Tech student, suffered minor injuries. Roberts was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center.
Accident investigators were on the scene for almost eight hours and are still looking into what factors contributed to the crash.
A Texas Tech campus directory lists Roberts as a current engineering student. Her combined bond for both intoxicated manslaughter and intoxicated assault is set at $8,500.
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