Woman Sentenced In Wrong-Way Collision

Posted on Aug 26, 2010
   A Spartanburg, S.C. woman was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for killing a woman and injuring two children in a head-on collision that happened as she drove the wrong way down I-26.

   Traci Freeman, 35, had been drinking in celebration of her birthday early August 22, 2009. She concedes that she'd had two double liquors, the last about 3 a.m., before leaving a bar.

   At the time, Freeman thought she was driving along a frontage road, but instead drove 2.5 miles the wrong way on I-26 before striking a car driven by Kathy Lanier of Pacolet. Lanier was returning from a 15-hour trip to Arkansas. Her sister, 38-year-old Janice Williams, died from internal injuries in the collision. Lanier's children, ages 6 and 9 at the time, were injured in the wreck, the elder undergoing multiple surgeries, while the younger suffered a broken ankle.

   Lanier told Circuit Judge Derham Cole Wednesday that the accident has forever changed her life.

   At the time of the accident, Freeman's blood alcohol level was .109, Principal Dpty. Solicitor Barry Barnette told Cole Wednesday, and she had an anti-anxiety medicine in her system, along with two other medications. The prescription drugs intensified the effect of the alcohol, the prosecutor said, hindering her ability to drive.

   According to Barnette, a witness told troopers he had tried to flag Freeman down as she drove the wrong way, but to no avail.