Woman charged with huffing and driving, causing head-on crash that injured 2

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A Lawrence woman was huffing and driving when she caused a head-on wreck that sent two other people to the hospital last fall, newly filed criminal charges allege.

The same woman had been arrested on suspicion of huffing and driving less than two months earlier, after driving the wrong way on Tennessee Street and crashing into a parked car, according to police.

In the Sept. 3 head-on wreck, Kathleen E. Gallagher, 36, is charged in Douglas County District Court with two felony counts of aggravated battery by DUI. She’s also charged with DUI and unlawful abuse of toxic vapors, both misdemeanors.

In the July 12 incident on Tennessee, Gallagher is charged with DUI and unlawful abuse of toxic vapors.

The complaint against Gallagher was filed Jan. 28. She was arrested on the charges and bonded out of jail this week, with orders to appear in court next month, according to jail and court records.

The Sept. 3 crash happened just after 10:30 a.m. on Iowa Street at Stratford Road.

Gallagher was weaving in and out of the turn lane, then accelerated into another vehicle that had slowed to make way for her, according to the Lawrence Police Department’s accident report. The two women in the other vehicle, ages 26 and 18, were both taken to the hospital, as was Gallagher. Another driver who swerved to avoid the accident crashed into a fire hydrant but wasn’t hurt.

The July 12 DUI arrest happened just before noon in the 1300 block of Tennessee Street.

Gallagher was driving the wrong way and, when police tried to stop her, ran into a parked car, according to the Lawrence Police Department accident report. Uninjured, Gallagher was booked into jail on suspicion of DUI, with results of an impairment test still pending at the time of the accident report filed several days later.

Kansas law prohibits inhaling the fumes of toxic vapors to get high, known as huffing. DUI includes operating or trying to operate a vehicle under the influence of any drug “to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office declined to release Gallagher’s mugshot to the Journal-World this week.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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