Woman charged in deadly crash has first court date

A Missouri woman who was arrested after a wrong-way crash on Interstate 65 that killed a Warren County woman made her first court appearance Thursday.

Cassandra Garrison, 30, was arraigned on a murder charge by Warren District Judge Brent Potter.

Garrison is charged in a Dec. 2 crash that occurred in the southbound lanes of I-65 in which the vehicle she was driving struck a car driven by Amy Eakles, 41, of Alvaton.

Eakles died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Garrison’s 2015 Dodge Journey was traveling north in the southbound lanes when it struck Eakles’ 2003 Ford Mustang head-on, police said.

Garrison was also seriously injured in the crash and treated at TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville.

After being released from the hospital, she was jailed in Nashville before being extradited to Kentucky and booked Wednesday into Warren County Regional Jail.

A not guilty plea was entered on Garrison’s behalf, and an attorney was appointed to represent her, court records show.

Potter set a preliminary hearing for Wednesday.

A complaint warrant sworn by Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathan Johnson said dispatchers received a call at 4:15 p.m. Dec. 2 about a pedestrian on southbound I-65 at the 23-mile marker.

As Johnson traveled to the location, he learned there had been a collision there with injuries.

At the scene, Johnson made contact with Jackalynn Brown, who was lying on the shoulder of the interstate.

Brown said she had been the passenger in the Dodge Journey driven by Garrison.

Brown told police she was engaged to Garrison, who identified as male and went by “Jesse,” according to Johnson’s complaint.

Police and jail records refer to Garrison as female.

“Brown advised that Garrison had been drinking whiskey that day and had been suicidal and talking about running in front of a semi and letting it run her over,” Johnson said in the complaint. “Brown also advised that Garrison had smoked methamphetamine the day prior.”

As Garrison traveled in the left lane, Brown told her to let her out of the vehicle. Brown jumped out of the vehicle when it slowed and ran to the right shoulder of southbound I-65, records said.

Garrison then made a U-turn and was traveling north in the southbound center lane when the crash occurred, Johnson said.

Garrison told police she was not performing a U-turn, but was instead attempting to move her vehicle to the shoulder, court records said.

As Johnson spoke with Garrison, he detected a strong odor of alcohol and saw a bottle of whiskey that was “approximately two-thirds empty.”

Garrison admitted taking shots of whiskey about 1 p.m. on the day of the crash, Johnson said in the complaint.

Garrison remains jailed under a $1 million cash bond.

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