Blood test will be allowed at trial in fatal crash

By The Tri-City HeraldApril 15, 2014 

Prosecutors will be able to use at a trial the test results of blood taken from a driver after she was involved in a fatal crash last June.

Judge Cameron Mitchell ruled Tuesday in Benton County Superior Court that another judge had probable cause to issue a search warrant for Natalie M. Lincoln's blood after the June 11 wreck.

Lincoln's lawyers tried to get the blood sample, and therefore the test results, tossed out because Judge Carrie Runge may not have been fully informed about drug-recognition tests done on Lincoln before she was given morphine at the hospital.

Lincoln, 33, is set for trial Monday on one count of vehicular homicide. Prosecutors allege she was driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Steven S. Covert, 50, died after Lincoln's car crossed the center line on Van Giesen Street, came into the oncoming lane and hit his car. The West Richland man's car spun around, then was struck by another car behind him.

Lincoln reportedly told authorities she had taken a stimulant, a muscle relaxant and an antidepressant the day of the crash. Her blood tests came back positive for the muscle relaxant.

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