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Natchez woman, driver arrested after accident

VIDILIA — A Natchez woman was arrested Monday afternoon after allegedly causing a two-vehicle collision Friday that hospitalized one woman in critical condition

Sherry Bailey, 46, 1718 Merrill Drive, Natchez, was arrested by Vidalia Police officers Monday on a warrant for possession of scheduled IV narcotics and reckless operation.

Police Chief Arthur Lewis said officers recovered suspected Xanax pills from Bailey after the accident, which prompted the warrant and eventual arrest.

“We’re taking samples to the state crime lab in Baton Rouge Friday for full toxicology reports,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they can expedite that for us but until then, the matter remains under investigation.”

Lewis said any additional charges would depend on the results of the toxicology report.

Regardless of the results, however, Lewis said Bailey was charged with reckless operation because of the nature of the accident.

Bailey 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.

Wilson remained in the hospital’s intensive care unit as of Tuesday night.

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

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 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 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.