One of two women hit by alleged drunk driver remains in critical condition, driver released from jail
POCATELLO — While one of two women struck by an alleged drunken driver on May 4 remains in critical condition at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, the man accused of the crime is out of jail.
As of Thursday evening, Krista McMurray, 24, of Burley, has been stabilized, Portneuf Medical Center staff said, though she remains in critical condition at the hospital’s intensive care unit. The other woman, Britni Scott, 26, of Pocatello, has been discharged.
Both women were transported via ambulances to PMC around 2 a.m. May 4 after Andrew Poisel, 30, of Pocatello, struck them with his 2004 Chevrolet Impala, according to police reports obtained by the Journal.
The incident began to unfold around 1:10 a.m. when an officer with the Pocatello Police Department and a Bannock County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the area of South Fourth Avenue and East Halliday Street in Pocatello for the report of a woman lying in the roadway, police said.
Upon arrival, a Bannock County Sheriff’s deputy discovered a woman, later identified as Scott, lying in the left lane of South Fourth Avenue without any shoes on, police said. Scott was bleeding from her head and face and was unaware of how she ended up in the road. She was able to tell police her name, however, police said.
The deputy also observed Poisel’s vehicle near the intersection of South Fourth and Halliday. The car had the windshield smashed consistent with someone being struck by the car and slamming into the glass, police said. The deputy also observed two boots and a name tag bearing Scott’s name on the hood of the vehicle.
As one Pocatello police officer tended to Scott’s injuries, another Pocatello Police officer responded to the area of South Fourth Avenue and East Whitman Street for the report of a second female, later identified as McMurray, lying face down in the roadway about 10 feet away from the crosswalk, police said.
The officer saw two different shoes, phones, wallets and blood spatter across the roadway, police said.
McMurry was breathing but never regained consciousness at the scene, police said. Both women were promptly transported to PMC, police said.
As the sheriff’s deputy began to close down the road to through traffic, Poisel approached him and explained he was the driver of the car, police said.
The sheriff’s deputy saw that Poisel’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot, his speech was slurred and his breath smelled of alcohol, police said. The deputy conducted three field sobriety tests and Posiel failed two of them, police said.
Poisel began to tell the deputy what happened after he was advised that the deputy was going to conduct a blood alcohol content breath analysis, police said.
Poisel said he left Club Charley’s, a Pocatello bar on East Center street, with two passengers in his vehicle, police said. Posiel told police that he was looking at the roadway when he struck the two women, but he did not see them and only remembered hearing two thuds.
Poisel also told police that he believed the two women walked out in front of him and because they were not in a crosswalk at a red light he could not see them.
Poisel said that after he struck the women, he continued driving until he reached a place he could turn around and go check on them. It was at this point that he realized one of the women was still on the hood of his car, police said. Poisel said that when he turned left onto East Halliday Street from South Fourth the female flew off the hood of the car, police said.
Poisel then turned the car around inside the parking lot of Jimmy John’s on East Halliday and parked the car near the intersection of East Halliday and South Fourth before walking back to where he said he initially struck Scott and McMurray, police said.
The deputy then conducted the breath analyses on Poisel. The first revealed a blood alcohol content level of .105 and the second reading was .99. The legal limit is .08.
One of the Pocatello police officers returned to the hospital to gather photographs and other evidence before reviewing traffic camera footage of the incident. The footage showed Scott and McMurray heading east across South Fourth Avenue near the Whitman Street intersection. They were both in the crosswalk, police said.
Upon getting struck by the vehicle, McMurray was thrown to the pavement and Scott was thrown onto the hood and into the windshield of the car, police said. Poisel then continued for two city blocks from the initial impact with Scott on the hood of the car before she was thrown on the pavement near East Halliday Street.
Poisel was subsequently arrested on two counts of aggravated drunken driving following the collision and was transported to the Bannock County Jail.
Poisel was arraigned on the charges against him on May 6 in front of 6th District Judge David Hooste. Though Bannock County Prosecutors asked for a bond amount of $75,000, Hooste set bond at $25,000, which Poisel posted the same day.
A hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to take Poisel’s case to trial has been set for May 20 at the Bannock County Courthouse.
If convicted of the felony charges against him, Poisel faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.