An Independence man died in a traffic crash early Monday on Interstate 435 when he was hit by a wrong-way driver.
A Kansas City woman, 34-year-old Naquita Williams, has been charged with felony DWI resulting in death. According to court documents filed Monday afternoon, Williams was driving a 2003 Cadillac Escalade south in the northbound lanes of I-435 near 87th Street in south Kansas City when she collided with a 2011 Ford Fusion at 1:45 a.m.
The Ford driver, a 26-year-old Independence man, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not released his name, pending family notification.
Williams, who was alone in the Escalade, was taken to the hospital with injuries, police said. Officers at the hospital detected in odor of alcohol on Williams, whose speech was “slurred, confused and stuttering” and whose eyes were “watery, bloodshot and glassy.”
One visual test indicated impairment, and after Williams did not submit to a blood test, officers obtained a search warrant to get blood vials for testing. As of Monday afternoon results were pending.
One witness told police she was driving south on I-435 when she saw another car swerve to avoid Williams in the northbound lanes. The witness was calling 911 to report a wrong-way driver when the crash happened.
Later Monday morning, Williams said she had been her brother’s friend’s house at a location she didn’t know and was driving north on a highway she didn’t know in order to get home. Williams said she is not familiar with street names and locations and uses a GPS to get around.
She initially denied consuming any alcohol or legal or illegal drugs, then admitted to smoking marijuana a couple weeks ago and drinking on wine cooler at about 5 p.m.