STONEY POINT, ALABAMA — A construction worker was killed in Autauga County on Thursday when an SUV careened through a barricade at a bridge replacement site.
The driver, identified by Cpl. Jess Thornton of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency as Kelly Nicole Dingler, 35, of Deatsville, drove through the barricade in a 2003 Ford Explorer that became airborne after striking the bridge abutment. The vehicle then went airborne and a construction worker identified as Larue Bandy, 55, of Haynesville, was struck by the vehicle. Bandy was pronounced dead at the scene, said deputy coroner Whit Moncrief. The car traveled through the air for about 20 yards before it landed atop Bandy, who was working on the bridge's pilings.
Criminal charges against Dingler are "likely," said District Attorney Randall Houston. The charges could range from manslaughter to murder, he said.
"We are going to go where the evidence takes us," he said. "But I fully anticipate some type of charges being filed. We have a fatality. A man went to work Thursday morning, trying to provide for himself and his family, and he didn't come home. My office will wait and see what the Trooper investigation finds."
The key will be results of tests to determine if Dingler was impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the wreck, he said.
"It may very well be that we file charges in the coming days, and then those charges could very well be upgraded once the tox screen comes back and we present this case to a future session of the grand jury," Houston said.
There was no marks at the scene that showed the driver attempted to apply her brakes. Dingler was transported to a local hospital. The extent of her injuries were unknown Thursday evening.
The scene is at the intersection of Autauga County roads 85 and 104. The bridge work has been going on for several weeks. The wreck scene is about 10 miles north of Prattville. There are several construction zones signs on County Road 85 approaching the bridge site. There are two wooden barricades on U.S. Highway 31 and County Road 85 with signs stating that the road is closed and open to local traffic only. The bridge site is about three miles from the Highway 31 and County Road 85 intersection.