Investigation Reveals Irby was Legally Drunk | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Investigation Reveals Irby was Legally Drunk

photo

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith accused the county court system of working to discredit his office last week.

Hinds County prosecutors have presented evidence in the case of a crash that killed two young doctors in February to a Grand Jury, reports WAPT.

According to the report, driver Karen Irby crossed into oncoming lanes and crashed her Mercedes head-on into a truck carrying Dr. Daniel Pogue and his fiancée, Dr. Lisa Dedousis, the night of Feb. 11 on Old Canton Road. The doctors' truck burst into flames, and both were killed. The Mercedes was travelling in excess of 100 mph according to the investigation; Irby and her husband, Stuart Irby, survived the crash with severe injuries.

[T]he police investigation revealed that Karen Irby was legally drunk during and for hours after the crash, and that the car was traveling far over the speed limit at the time of impact.

Sources confirmed that her blood-alcohol content, sampled hours after the wreck at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, registered .09. Legally drunk in Mississippi is .08.

Despite two deaths in a case that dates back to February, Karen Irby has not been charged and was never arrested. Since the crash, the Irbys have gone back to their North Jackson home to recover.

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith would not confirm or deny WAPT's information.

"Well, if the evidence supports the charge of aggravated assault of negligent homicide, those could be some of the possible charges that could come out of this," Smith told the station's reporter. "Aggravated DUI is another charge that could arise from some of the evidence, if it exists."

Previous Comments

ID
146562
Comment

I'd bet she'd be in jail if her last name wasn't "Irby".

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-04-30T15:00:15-06:00
ID
146564
Comment

I'll second Ironghost on this. Anyone want to go diving through political contributions and see who they were major contributors for?

Author
Pilgrim
Date
2009-04-30T15:10:37-06:00
ID
146567
Comment

How can she be legally drunk if hours after the wreck she tested a .09, above the legal limit?

Author
Tbro
Date
2009-04-30T15:15:11-06:00
ID
146568
Comment

Tbro- it's really simple. Legally drunk is .08 and even hours later, having time to sober up and she still registered a .09 (.09 > .08 = legally drunk)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-04-30T15:22:23-06:00
ID
146569
Comment

Tbro... Huh? She was legally drunk hours after the accident. The legal limit in MS is .08. If she was tested hours later and was still over the limit (legally drunk), don't you think she might have tested even higher if the test had been done at the scene?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-04-30T15:23:58-06:00
ID
146570
Comment

I guess it's the term legally that just seemed a bit off to me. Like saying someone legally robbed someone. Too much multitasking for me this afternoon, carry on. =)

Author
Tbro
Date
2009-04-30T15:26:52-06:00
ID
146572
Comment

Got it, Tbro. LOL. I guess it should be "over the legal limit."

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-04-30T15:36:20-06:00
ID
146573
Comment

Wow. She was still drunk hours after the crash.

Author
msgrits
Date
2009-04-30T15:39:51-06:00
ID
146575
Comment

Do you get a DUI if its .08 or does it have to be over .08?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-04-30T15:41:26-06:00
ID
146577
Comment

.08 or more, Bubba.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-04-30T15:52:30-06:00
ID
146578
Comment

Pilgrim, thanks for the tip. I'll see if I can find anything donation wise on Irby.

Author
Sophie
Date
2009-04-30T15:56:30-06:00
ID
146585
Comment

any lawyers out there know anything about speedy trial laws for criminal prosecution. i thought there was a federal statute requiring a trial within 90 days (unless George Bush or Dick Cheney so say!). Would that have anything to do with this case? I guess i'm thinking that perhaps the D.A. is waiting till ms irby could actually stand trial without looking so beat us that SHE looks like the victim and gets a bunch of jury sympathy. is that lame?

Author
FriendsofJackson
Date
2009-04-30T16:41:50-06:00
ID
146589
Comment

I don't know. In my anecdotal experience, drunk drivers involved in fatal car crashes are usually charged while they're still in the hospital. This does seem like special treatment.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-04-30T17:19:36-06:00
ID
146591
Comment

I agree. It feels like special treatment to me, too.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-04-30T17:51:28-06:00
ID
146594
Comment

I can't understand why then Police Chief McMillian did not place her under arrest for DUI and Murder? The Police officer did have his lights on and was in chasing her with light and siren and for some change reason stop chasing her and turn off right before the wreck occurred. I have seen them place other people that kill people when the were driving drunk and they were arrested and placed in jail and was forced to put a bond to get out of jail, why not her? Why did it take so long for the test results to come back? Why when the test results were recieved that the Chief of Police or Sheriff did not arrest her? These people were burned to death and because of her status and wealth she is allowed to remain free. The District Attorney should not have had to take the results of the test to the Grand Jury this should have been done after the Chief of Police or Sheriff had charged her with vehicular homicide. I guess he forgot to busy endorsing Crisler for Mayor. I would like to know how much money did the Irby's and their friends donate to candidates for Mayor? Which candidates did they give their money too? Also, I would like to know how muc money was donated by the Irby's in the past Hinds County Sheriff elections? and who recieved the donations?

Author
Tony Davis
Date
2009-04-30T19:16:41-06:00
ID
146597
Comment

I can't understand why then Police Chief McMillian did not place her under arrest for DUI and Murder? I can't find it in the WAPT article, but the excuse I heard on WAPT was that if Irby was arrested, then the county would have to pay her medical bills. Hmmm.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-04-30T20:04:26-06:00
ID
146598
Comment

Tony- If I am not mistaken the police said the day after the wreck they were not chasing her at anytime, that an officer was in the area stopping someone else but no one was in pursuit of her.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-04-30T20:12:28-06:00
ID
146601
Comment

As far as political donations go, I have found the Irby has given $1,000 within the last year (7/22/08) to Tate Reeves and gave $500 to D.A. Smith during his election. But, (of course) the Sec. of State doesn't have the campaign finance reports online for Melton, McMillan. I would really be interested in seeing those numbers.

Author
Sophie
Date
2009-04-30T20:46:28-06:00
ID
146609
Comment

Irby donated $1,000 to Marshand Crisler's campaign.

Author
chip
Date
2009-05-01T08:38:47-06:00
ID
146611
Comment

100mph? It is extremely difficult for people to estimate how fast a car is going.

Author
QB
Date
2009-05-01T08:50:57-06:00
ID
146612
Comment

Really? I would have thought that mph would be relatively easy to calculate- not that I would know how to do it or anything...

Author
Rico
Date
2009-05-01T08:55:04-06:00
ID
146613
Comment

On the contrary...there are accident specialists, mainly engineers, who are pretty good at estimating vehicle impact speeds based on evidence such as tire marks, angle and severity of impact, etc. The NTSB even developed mathematical equations for speed estimation from crash tests. That said, I'm curious to see how they arrived at 100 mph myself, admittedly...

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-05-01T08:58:56-06:00
ID
146614
Comment

What does 100MPH mean, exactly? I highly doubt she was going 100MPH down Old Canton Rd - she'd have lost control well before that. Was the collision a "100 MPH" collision? If so, if she's doing 60, the other car doing 40, that's a "100 MPH" collision (we remember how force is calculated from high school, yes?). The statements don't really give a more insightful picture into how fast she was driving. All they've done is confirm that she was drunk and should spend the rest of her life in jail.

Author
imajeep
Date
2009-05-01T08:59:12-06:00
ID
146617
Comment

"dead cat on the line" :( It appears that the families of the deceased will have to keep the spotlight shining on this case and the D.A. if they ever hope to see justice served and experience closure....

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-05-01T09:18:53-06:00
ID
146619
Comment

According to the WAPT story: Police investigation confirmed that the speed at the time of impact exceeded 100 mph.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-05-01T09:51:31-06:00
ID
146622
Comment

New cars have black boxes that record data, including speed. They can show if brakes were applied prior to impact, etc. On a Mercedes, they would have even more data than normal.

Author
olemissreb
Date
2009-05-01T10:44:03-06:00
ID
146625
Comment

It has been stated many times that the black box was destroyed by the force of the impact. Sounds fishy to me, but who knows? I want justice to be served, but I feel really sorry for the Irbys...

Author
Rico
Date
2009-05-01T11:26:11-06:00
ID
146626
Comment

Cars don't have black boxes like airplanes. They have On-Board Diagnostic Systems that monitor the engine and emissions and your driving habits, they have been required on cars sold in the U.S. by the EPA since the 80's. Most record some kind of crash data but the WAPT report said police could not get any data from the one in the Irby's Mercedes

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-05-01T11:39:54-06:00
ID
146633
Comment

Event Data Recorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event_data_recorder I didn't know the one in their car was destroyed.

Author
olemissreb
Date
2009-05-01T13:02:27-06:00
ID
146636
Comment

What does it say about people that we always seem to want others to get what's coming to them. I don't know any of the parties involved in this terrible tragedy, and I do believe justice must be served because we are all diminished when it is not. The families of Drs. Pogue and Dedousis are right to pursue this case to their satisfaction. That being said, much of what's being said of this case sounds like a call for vengeance disguised as a call for justice. Would there be as much interest here if they had been killed by a blue-collar drunk driver? Or someone like you? Or me? It happens all the time, and the community doesn't get this vocal beyond the actual event. The rhetoric surrounding these circumstances reveals such a baser instinct about us.

Author
chaffeur
Date
2009-05-01T14:50:59-06:00
ID
146640
Comment

This really saddens me that she is not in jail for this. I had a friend who was killed in the same situation, and the driver of the truck was placed in jail as soon as he recovered. Social status shouldn't matter in life or dealing with life. This really troubles me, and I have much sympathy for the victims family.

Author
....
Date
2009-05-01T15:17:38-06:00
ID
146642
Comment

Chaffeur, what people are reacting to is what looks like preferential treatment for Ms. Irby. Would there be as much interest if the driver (or the victims) was a blue-collar worker? Probably not. On the other hand, would that worker have been arrested or be recuperating at home months after the accident? If the driver was a blue-collar worker, would the results of the toxicology report been revealed months ago? Everything else being equal, it seems to most onlookers that justice is not being applied fairly in this case. As JOKeefe points out, his friend's killer was put in jail "as soon as he recovered." That being said, Ms. Irby had multiple broken bones and several surgeries, according to CaringBridge blog entries (which have been deactivated) so I would hesitate to say that she's "recovered" even after all this time. Nonetheless, if she was driving drunk she broke laws. That she killed two people as a result of (at the very least) recklessly speeding seems clear. She will probably face legal consequences as a result of her actions. Let's hope her family's wealth and influence don't dictate what those consequences are and that justice will be applied fairly. We'll see.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-05-01T17:10:32-06:00
ID
146643
Comment

It's cuz she white. If she was a black man, she'd be on death row. Just another case of the white man keeping the black man down :) Fight the power.

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2009-05-01T17:19:34-06:00
ID
146645
Comment

Drum, I know you are joking but it's sort of bad taste with this situation where this case is still fresh. I know you mean no harm, but if the family is reading this it could be offensive. Now, the man that killed him wasn't able to go home. He sat in the hospital, and when he was able to go, he went to a cell to wait sentencing. I've had two friends die from drunk drivers, so I show no remorse for for the criminal. This case is especially sad because she has caused much pain for all parties involved. She needs to be punished.

Author
....
Date
2009-05-01T17:37:50-06:00
ID
146646
Comment

OK, Drummin, let's not fall off the that edge either, OK? If you have some evidence that this is "just another case of the white man keeping the black man down," bring it on. Otherwise it's incendiary speculation and rumor, neither of which has a place here.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-05-01T17:53:04-06:00
ID
146648
Comment

I don't think its a case of preferential treatment for Mrs.Irby I think it more a case of covering all the bases, dotting every I and crossing every t to make sure that if/when they do arrest her and go to trial, there will be no question if they did everything right. Cause you can be assured that any lawyer she has will try to throw doubt on everything the police and DA have done so far and the wreck was the fault of the guys on the grassy knoll.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-05-01T18:12:47-06:00
ID
146651
Comment

I wouldn't be so sure Bubba. The whole light this has been cast in has been preferential to the Irby side so far. Money is going to speak loudly in this case. I don't think they should throw her in jail until she is healed well enough from her injuries that she doesn't need more care than a jail can provide. She isn't going anywhere until then. I have a cousin who killed several people in a DUI wreck a few years ago and he wasn't arrested until he got out of the hospital and was charged with DUI homicide. He wasn't physically able to enjoy his "freedom" because his injuries were so severe. Then he was only in a short time until he made bail. Being white didn't help him in court though, he is still in prison and won't be out for a long time. But he didn't have the name or the money as the driver in this case does. Ronni's right, we will see.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-05-02T07:56:36-06:00
ID
146706
Comment

Is she going to be arrested after she recuperates? I definitely hope so. I wonder how would this story have turned out if the drunk driver had been from the heart of Jackson's inner city, let's say, Bailey Ave. or maybe Livingston Road?

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2009-05-03T15:23:54-06:00
ID
146717
Comment

Even the Irby's don't have enough money to buy their way out of this- she *will* be arrested soon enough. And with that knowledge I'm pretty sure that her life right now is none too pleasant. I really do feel sorry for her.

Author
Rico
Date
2009-05-03T17:25:30-06:00
ID
146720
Comment

I feel bad for the family, just as I do any family ripped apart by crime. It's so unfortunate. That said, it really does look like the authorities are treating this one with kid gloves. It may be because the Irbys can afford high-powered lawyers, but still it's pretty obvious that a family from, say, West Jackson in the exact same situation would not be treated so well. Hell, *victims* of crime aren't treated as well, it seems. (Think Jennifer Sutton.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-03T18:32:05-06:00
ID
146722
Comment

Another problem being that even if there's a good reason this hasn't gone further, no one has said anything. Lack of information is creating speculation, which is where people who thrive on creating envy and fear work best.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-05-03T18:50:54-06:00
ID
146723
Comment

Couldn't agree more- the authorities would have been all over someone of lesser stature in the community- me for instance. But ultimately, the purpose of a trial would be to punish her for her crime; and in that respect I'm pretty sure that there isn't going to be a whole lot anyone can do to actually make her life any more miserable than it already is.

Author
Rico
Date
2009-05-03T18:53:04-06:00
ID
146724
Comment

Couldn't agree more- the authorities would have been all over someone of lesser stature in the community- me for instance. I heart Rico -- another in a fine tradition of JFP curmudgeons. And that's a compliment. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-03T19:14:12-06:00
ID
146725
Comment

Nice to know I still have status around here- "most favored curmudgeons"- what a club!

Author
Rico
Date
2009-05-03T21:06:14-06:00
ID
146726
Comment

Y'all know how to disagree without being disagreeable. Most of the time. ;-P

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-03T22:54:02-06:00
ID
146734
Comment

I tend to agree with Bubba here, I think the DA office is making sure everything is "done by the book" because there will be top shelf representation later. And since the injuries recieved by the defendents were rather severe, letting them pay for the rehab etc. instead of the county or state makes sense.

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-05-04T08:25:41-06:00

Like independent media outlets around the world, the Jackson Free Press works hard to produce important content on a limited budget. We'd love your help! Become a JFP VIP member today and/or donate to our journalism fund. Thanks for considering a JFP VIP membership or one-time support.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus