DPS: Meth found at scene of fatal Smithwick collision

FROM STAFF REPORTS

UPDATE: The Texas Department of Public Safety released a report Feb. 5 that 81-year-old Kathleen Smith of Kingsland, an occupant of the Chevrolet Impala involved in the Smithwick collision, was pronounced dead at 5:48 p.m. Feb. 4 by Williamson County Justice of the Peace Judy Hobbs at Seton-Williamson County in Round Rock.

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SMITHWICK — Authorities have arrested and charged a Liberty Hill man with intoxication assault after a two-car collision that sent three people to the hospital Feb. 4 in eastern Burnet County, according to a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Jim Erich Lipuma, 41, was taken into custody at the scene of the crash about 2:40 p.m. that afternoon on FM 1174 just off RR 1431 east of Marble Falls, according to DPS Trooper Frank Randolph.

The trooper reported that Lipuma was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado that was towing a vehicle trailer when he collided with a 2006 four-door Chevy Impala.

“The pickup truck was soutbound on 1174 and drove across the center stripe and hit a Chevy Impala (traveling) nearly head on,” Randolph said. “He went across the road. He’s not sure why.”

The occupants of the Impala were transported by helicopter to Seton-Williamson County hospital in Round Rock. They were a 58-year-old male driver, a 54-year-old female front passenger and an 81-year-old female backseat passenger, all of Kingsland.

Lipuma also faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia as well as the intoxication assault charge, the trooper said.

“We found methamphetamines at the scene,” said Randolph, adding a “meth pipe” was also collected as evidence.

The charges potentially could be upgraded to intoxication manslaughter if any of the victims die.

“Depending on the status of the (occupants), (the charge) could change,” said Randolph, who is withholding their identifications. “That is all pending.”

As of Feb. 5, the occupants of the Impala were listed in stable condition, Randolph said.

Patient transport and roadway cleanup stalled traffic in the area of RR 1431 and FM 1174.

“The roadway was closed for northbound and southbound traffic for a while due to the wreck scene and landing the helicopter,” the trooper said. “After the helicipter left, we re-routed traffic down CR 328, Cow Creek Road.”

The investigation is continuing.

editor@thepicayune.com

2 thoughts on “DPS: Meth found at scene of fatal Smithwick collision

  1. I hope a jury convicts this guy , and gets him off of our streets…… as they did John Horne. Lock him up and throw away the key.

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