A Texas man accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 in Billings and causing a crash that killed a man and woman from Missoula has been charged with vehicular homicide.
An arrest warrant issued recently charges Corey Brooks Jay, 26, with two counts of vehicular homicide for the Oct. 3 deaths of David Hanson and Janice Thomas. Jay is also charged with two counts of felony criminal endangerment.
In court records, prosecutors allege Jay was driving drunk at about 8:20 p.m. when his Ford F-150 pickup truck crossed the median near the Zoo Drive exit from the eastbound traffic lanes and entered the westbound lanes. Two motorists told investigators they had to swerve to avoid a head-on collision with the truck.
The truck traveled nearly one-fifth of a mile the wrong way on the highway before it slammed head-on into a Chrysler Sebring. The collision sent vehicle debris across a large swath of the highway and forced authorities to close the westbound lanes and divert traffic around the crash scene.
Hanson, 55, was driving the Sebring with Thomas, 56, riding in the passenger seat. Both died at the scene of massive injuries.
Jay, who is from El Paso, Texas, was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare and has been released.
Investigators said there was no evidence that the pickup truck attempted to stop or avoid hitting the car. When the vehicles hit, the truck went over the top of he car, court records state.
One driver said he saw the pickup headed toward his vehicle before the collision, and he switched lanes to avoid being hit. The man said the pickup truck also switched lanes as if on purpose, and the man had to change lanes a second time and the truck nearly struck his vehicle.
Another driver told investigators she had to drive her car off the right shoulder of the highway to avoid being hit by the pickup truck headed the wrong way at highway speeds.
According to prosecutors, Jay allegedly told an investigator he was working at the refinery in Laurel but got off work early the day of the crash. He drank a beer at his hotel room, and then he went shopping with his girlfriend and daughter. Jay said he then went to a casino where he drank more beer and gambled, and he was heading to Shotgun Willie's strip club at the time of the crash.
Jay allegedly said he fell asleep behind the wheel of the pickup. An analysis of a blood sample taken at the hospital allegedly showed Jay had a blood-alcohol content of 0.095 percent, above the state legal limit of 0.08 percent.
An arrest warrant sets Jay's bond at $100,000. It was not immediately clear Monday if Jay remains in the Billings area.
2 killed in I-90 wreck - 10/3/08