At approximately 10:30 am on Saturday morning in Stillwater, OK, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers drove her vehicle through several barricades, knocked over a parked police motorcycle and plowed into an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade killing four and injuring 47 people. Prosecutors have charged her with driving under the influence of drugs and 4 counts of second degree murder. She will have an Initial Appearance this afternoon in Payne County District Court.
According to KOCO News 5,
Police identified the victims as Nakita Prabhaker, 23, of Edmond, Bonnie Stone, 65, of Stillwater, Marvin Stone, 65, of Stillwater and 2-year-old Nash Lucas, from Stillwater. Nash Lucas’ mother was injured in the crash.
The child died at OU Medical Center.
Prabhaker was an international student at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is from Mumbai, India.
Police said five people are in critical condition. Twelve others, including six children, are also hospitalized at six hospitals in Oklahoma City, Tulsa or Stillwater.
Thirty people were treated and released from the hospital including five children.
The Oklahoman is reporting,
“I don’t believe right now that she was intoxicated,” said Chambers’ attorney, Tony Coleman.
“I have deep concerns about her competency at this point. I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I can tell you she’s suffering from mental illness,” Coleman said.
An expert in alcohol intoxication, Coleman believes that his client suffered a blackout caused by underlying physical or mental problems.
Her boyfriend, Jesse Gaylord, told him that she suffers from diabetes, but is not being treated or medicated for the condition, Coleman said. She also reportedly suffers from insomnia and had not slept for three days before the crash.
Gaylord also reportedly interrupted two attempts by Chambers to slash her wrists, Coleman said, but doesn’t think the incident was intentional or a suicide attempt.
Chambers’ mother also reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder and has been hospitalized in the past due to her illness, Coleman said.
Coleman said he’s met with people who saw Chambers the night before, the morning of and just before the incident. No one saw her drink alcohol or take drugs, he said.
Gaylord told CBS News that Chambers left work at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburger about a half-mile from the scene early, but he isn’t sure why.
“She’s a really nice girl. Hasn’t shown anything, I mean… I got her up this morning and gave her a hug and kiss and she made it to work,” Gaylord said.
Chambers reportedly left the restaurant a short time after arriving for work. A witness said she appeared to be crying, but was not unsteady on her feet as she walked down a street away from the restaurant, according to the Stillwater NewsPress.
What happened over the course of the next hour leading up to the crash is unknown even to Chambers, Coleman said.
“There’s an area there when she doesn’t remember much of anything,” he said.
She did not remember the events leading up to the crash or the wreck itself, but recalls people pulling her out of the vehicle’s wreckage, Coleman said.
When he met with his client Saturday night, Coleman said Chambers gave “inappropriate” answers to some questions and lacked emotion at moments it would be expected.
“People who know her talk of a different Adacia than the one I met,” Coleman said.
Assuming the information reported is true, Ms. Chambers may have lost consciousness due to diabetic coma. If so, she may not have committed a crime. A person has to know what they are doing in order to be guilty of committing a crime. I am aware of at least one case where a person lost control of his vehicle after blacking out due to the sudden onset of a diabetic coma. I witnessed the accident. The vehicle jumped the curb and struck an unoccupied picnic table about 20 yards away. The driver was hospitalized with injuries from which he eventually recovered. No charges were filed.
A blood sample obtained from Adacia Chambers after she drove through the barriers and into the crowd will be subjected to a toxicological examination to determine whether she had any drugs or alcohol on board. I do not know if the analysis has been completed. If it comes back, “Hypoglycemic, no drugs, no alcohol,” the prosecution may not have a case. If that is the case, I hope she was given insulin to restore her to a proper blood-sugar content.
At the Initial Appearance* this afternoon, the judge will tell her what crimes she is charged with and advise her of her legal rights. Unless the toxicology results are known and favorable to the defense, her lawyer probably will probably stipulate (agree) to probable cause and reserve argument for release on bond to another time, probably at the next scheduled hearing, which would be a preliminary hearing. If they are favorable, he will move to dismiss for lack of probable cause.
He also has expressed doubt about her mental state and competency. Do not be surprised if the judge orders her to undergo a competency evaluation. A legal proceeding cannot take place unless the defendant is competent. That means she has to be oriented as to time and place, know what the charges are, track what is going on, and be able to communicate with and assist her lawyer to represent her.
This is a tragic, but very interesting case, because of the legal and mental issues that it presents.
Payne County Special District Judge Katherine Thomas set bond at $1 million and ordered a psychological evaluation for Adacia Chambers. The next hearing will be November 13th.
*An initial appearance is not an arraignment. She will not be entering a plea. Issues are limited to advising defendant of charges, her rights, reviewing police affidavit for probable cause and deciding whether to set conditions of release or deny bail.