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Victim of alleged intoxication assault improving at ETMC

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Lawrence Woodham. Photo Source: Smith County Jail. Lawrence Woodham. Photo Source: Smith County Jail.

A driver who caused a major accident early this morning has been charged with intoxication assault with a vehicle. 

At approximately 6:30 a.m., 24-year-old, Lawrence Woodham was transported to the Smith County Jail and charged with intoxication assault.

The accident happened just after midnight at the intersection of Troup Highway and S. Loop 323 in Tyler. Witnesses say while 23-year-old Casey Patterson was making a legal left turn, Woodham hit the passenger side of his vehicle.

A witness, Devonte Haggerty, said he and his brother saw the whole thing happen. Haggerty was approaching the same red light police say Woodham ran.

"I'd say he was going a good 85, almost 90 [mph], because he came zooming by me. As soon as he went by me, I went, 'Ooh. He's about to run that light,'" Haggerty said.

He called 911, then snapped photos of the crash.

"The person in the car wasn't saying anything, but you could still see that they were breathing. Luckily, there was one person in the car. If there would have been a passenger, they would have been squished," Haggerty said.

Haggerty and another witness spoke to Woodham at the scene. He said that other witness was in front of the car that was hit and just nearly missed the collision. Together they waited for police to arrive and question Woodham.

"He was sitting up there trying to plead his case. He couldn't even walk a straight line. He couldn't even stand up straight," Haggerty said.

According to Haggerty, police removed a large Smirnoff bottle from Woodham's truck.

"The police sat it on the truck and I said, 'That man better hope that other man lives because he's going to do some time,'" Haggerty said.

Upon further investigation, Mr. Woodham was arrested for intoxication assault due to the fact that there was serious bodily injury to the other person," said Tyler Police Officer Don Martin.

Police say a sample of Woodham's blood was taken and sent off for testing.

Patterson was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Later his condition was upgraded to fair, and now authorities say Patterson has been released from the hospital.

Woodham only sustained minor injuries.  

A quick records search showed this was not Woodham's first offence. He was arrested last December for DWI. That case was scheduled to go to trial in July.

Police say this case is still under investigation. 

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