Las Vegas police said they’ve obtained video showing a suspected intoxicated motorist speeding and passing traffic on the unimproved shoulder of Tropical Parkway just moments before the vehicle was involved in a deadly December crash.
Marsha Stewart Byrd, 61, of Las Vegas, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence causing death and reckless driving in connection with the Dec. 30 crash. Authorities said Stewart Byrd was driving recklessly, headed west on Tropical Parkway, when her vehicle crossed the center line and struck a vehicle eastbound on Tropical.
The driver of the eastbound vehicle, Gilma Rodriguez-Walters, 53, of Las Vegas, was killed.
An arrest report for Stewart Byrd said moments before the collision, four witnesses observed Stewart Byrd’s 2001 Mercedes-Benz headed west on Tropical Parkway at 3:52 p.m., passing traffic on the unimproved shoulder “at an excessive rate of speed.”
“East of the intersection with Torrey Pines Drive, Marsha Stewart Byrd attempted to re-enter the single west travel lane of Tropical Parkway,” police wrote in an arrest report. “The Mercedes-Benz then started to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction and crossed the center line.”
Police said Stewart Byrd’s vehicle struck Rodriguez-Walters’ eastbound vehicle, then flipped and came to rest against a chain link fence.
Police said their investigation yielded video evidence supporting the witness accounts.
“Video surveillance was located from a residence … which showed the Mercedes-Benz passing moving traffic on the unimproved shoulder at an excessive rate of speed,” police wrote.
Two witnesses also placed Stewart Byrd behind the wheel of the flipped Mercedes-Benz immediately after the collision, police said. When an officer spoke to Stewart Byrd, police said the officer “detected the odor of an unknown intoxicating beverage emanating from Marsha Stewart Byrd’s person.”
A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper asked Stewart Byrd about the events leading up to the crash.
“Marsha Stewart Byrd said she was coming from Kmart on Rainbow and was driving to her home,” police wrote. “She said there was a black hole in the road she was trying to avoid” when the crash occurred.
Two blood draws were taken from Stewart Byrd. The results of those tests were not detailed in the arrest report.
Online Las Vegas Justice Court records indicate a $25,000 bail was set in the case. That bond was posted through a bail bond company and Stewart Byrd is currently out of custody. A preliminary hearing date has not been set. A criminal complaint in the case hadn’t been filed as of Tuesday morning.