BY: STEPHEN DEAN-KPRC-TV
CUT AND SHOOT, Texas –
Accident investigators revealed on Tuesday that a mother’s blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit when her SUV crashed and killed her 8-month-old daughter, Local 2 Investigates reported.
Department of Public Safety troopers said 28-year-old Ashli Heil was driving too fast on a sharp curve on F.M. 1484 in Cut and Shoot when her SUV skidded into a tree and severed a gas line around 6 p.m. Monday.
The mother was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where she faced questioning from crash investigators throughout the day Tuesday.
- Investigators assigned to the case provided information to Local 2 Investigates under the condition that their names be withheld.
Those investigators said the hospital blood tests showed a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .28, while the legal limit for driving in Texas is .08.
Investigators also said they were able to download data from the computer aboard Heil’s SUV, and it showed the vehicle was speeding at 68 mph just before impact.
Bright yellow signs warn drivers about the sharp curves on that stretch of road, and accident investigators emphasized that road signs are posted with a 45 mph speed limit just before the curve where the crash happened.
No one answered the door at the home where Heil lives with her parents in Kingwood on Tuesday afternoon.
She has not been charged with a crime at this point, with Montgomery County prosecutors saying they will await lab tests on her blood and more complete details from the accident investigation.
She could soon face charges of intoxication manslaughter for the death of 8-month-old Whilow Heil.
State troopers said the child was strapped in a safety seat in the back seat area of the SUV, but it wasn’t enough to shield her from such an intense impact.
On Facebook, friends and classmates of the Kingwood High School graduate were able to see photos of Heil showing off her pregnancy.
Other photos were posted after the baby was born, proudly displaying Whilow’s "first wink" and other smiling moments.
One classmate from Kingwood High School, who requested anonymity, said that viewing those photos on Facebook Tuesday was enough to bring tears.
Sources close to the investigation told Local 2 Investigates that the mother told state troopers that she had just purchased "Mad Dog 20/20" alcoholic beverages just before the crash.
Troopers reported finding no empty containers in the vehicle.
Heil told troopers she was on her way to visit her boyfriend when the crash happened.
Harris County District Court records show Heil has two previous run-ins with the law.
In July 2004, Houston police arrested her for criminal mischief, leading to a guilty plea and a two-day jail sentence.
In August 2007, she was arrested for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. Court records show she was caught with between 4 grams and 200 grams of meth, which was enough to warrant the drug dealing charge. She pleaded guilty and served four years of probation, which expired in August.
Memorial Hermann Hospital listed Heil in good condition on Tuesday. Her injuries were described by accident investigators as non-life-threatening.