Wrong-way driver charged in crash that killed married couple on - KCTV5 News

Wrong-way driver charged in crash that killed married couple on Thanksgiving

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Deone Starr. (KCTV) Deone Starr. (KCTV)
The two-vehicle crash happened just before 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving on southbound I-29 at Barry Road. (KCTV) The two-vehicle crash happened just before 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving on southbound I-29 at Barry Road. (KCTV)
PLATTE CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The wrong-way driver in a crash that killed a married couple early on Thanksgiving has been charged, according to court documents. 

Deone E. Starr, 31, has been charged with driving while intoxicated -- causing the death of two or more people, according to the warrant for his arrest. The probable cause statement accuses him of manslaughter, but he has not been officially charged on that according to court records.

According to the probable cause statement, on Nov. 23 just before 1 a.m., officers went to I-29 and NW Barry Road in Platte County on a call about an injury accident. 

When officers arrived, they found that a Honda Pilot had been northbound in the southbound lanes of I-29 when it hit a Honda CR-V.

Both of the people inside the CR-V, Nelson Guzman-Cuellar and Normalina Erazo Chaconde-Perez, were pronounced dead at the scene. 

A trooper who was in the area at the time saw the head-on crash. When he approached the wrong-way driver, Starr, he saw a bottle of alcohol in his lap. 

A deputy who responded to the call had seen Starr weaving in and out of traffic and that he was going about 100 mph when he passed her and pulled away. 

Starr was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

DUI officers couldn't evaluate him at the hospital because he was unconscious. A warrant was obtained for his blood and the toxicology report showed that he had an ethanol level of .125 mg/dL at 3:46 a.m. and .106 mg/Dl at 4:51 a.m. 

At 9:40 a.m., Starr was read his Miranda rights and said he didn't know how the crash happened. 

He said he had been at a Thanksgiving party in Lee's Summit the evening before the crash at 7 p.m. He said he drank two "vodka/cranapple party cups and one wine cooler" there. He said he stopped drinking at midnight and remembered telling everyone goodbye and that he felt "buzzed." 

He did not remember making any stops on the way home and didn't think he brought any additional drinks with him. 

He described his normal route home, which included I-470 and US 71, so said he had no idea how he ended up on I-29 or where he could have gone the wrong way. 

He noted that he doesn't use narcotics and said he thought he was just too impaired to drive. 

Previous coverage:

Husband and wife killed in Thanksgiving wrong-way crash on I-29

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