Woman once convicted of vehicular homicide involved in wreck

Published 12:12am Sunday, August 11, 2013

VIDALIA — A woman who was once convicted of vehicular homicide was involved in a two-car accident Friday night that left another woman in critical condition.

Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis said Sherry Bailey, 46, 1718 Merrill Drive, Natchez, was traveling eastbound toward Natchez on U.S. 84 in a 2009 Dodge Avenger when the car veered into the oncoming westbound lane and hit a 2002 Cadillac DeVille, driven by Jolanda Grayson, 26, of Ferriday.

Evelyn Wilson, 76, of Ferriday, was a passenger in Bailey’s car. Bailey was apparently Wilson’s caregiver, Lewis said.

“(Wilson) sustained serious injuries and was airlifted in critical condition to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria,” Lewis said. “Her situation as of (Saturday) has either stayed the same or improved, but has not worsened.”

Bailey was transported to Natchez Community Hospital, and Grayson was transported to Natchez Regional Medical Center — both with non life-threatening injuries, Lewis said.

Bailey was convicted of vehicular homicide in May 2004 in relation to the April 2003 death of 79-year-old Lillie Ingram.

Bailey’s car allegedly struck Ingram’s stationary vehicle, which was apparently waiting to make a left-turn across U.S. 84. Bailey later reportedly had a blood-alcohol content level of .098 percent. The legal limit before a driver is considered driving while intoxicated is .080 percent.

Bailey was convicted by a six-person jury, but upon appeal the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled “the evidence was insufficient to show that defendant’s intoxication combined with her operation of her vehicle to cause victim’s death, as required for conviction.”

The district attorney’s office appealed the decision, but the state Supreme Court eventually upheld the appellate court’s ruling.

Bailey was arrested again in November 2008 for drinking and driving after she reportedly rear-ended another vehicle at a stoplight and again in November 2012 for DUI and improper lane usage.

Police have not yet determined if alcohol was a factor in Friday night’s accident.

Officers are still investigating the accident and toxicology results are pending, Lewis said.

“We’re still gathering some information and waiting for the results of the toxicology tests from the state crime lab,” he said.