By Alana Bleimann
SACRAMENTO – At a preliminary hearing here in Sacramento County Superior Court Wednesday, Teunie Turner admitted she consumed a few sips of a “Buzz Ball,” and turned head-on into another car, causing severe injuries to the passenger of another vehicle.
Turner faces two felonies, one for a DUI (driving under the influence) and another for causing injury in commission of the DUI.
The hearing began with the testimony of Officer Frank Jorgensen, who was dispatched to the site of the car accident at 11:14 a.m. and observed “quite a bit of people there” and two vehicles “that had been involved in a head-on collision.”
Both a black Mercedes and a beige Buick Regal were involved and “had major front in damage,” said Jorgensen, who called it a “major accident,” in which the majority of the damage for the Mercedes was the left front half of it.
The defendant was traveling southbound and was following a vehicle that her sister was driving, he added, noting that the sister turned left at the intersection, Turner followed, failing to clear for traffic and “was immediately struck by the Mercedes.”
“She committed an unsafe left turn into oncoming traffic….believed she had been operating a vehicle unsafely…danger to herself,” according to Jorgensen. He contacted the driver of the Buick, who identified herself as the defendant, Teunie Turner.
She was “visibly shaken” but was “very jovial at the time, joking around,” said the officer, who noticed signs of intoxication in Turner as there was a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her.” He also said she was “unsteady on her feet and was slurring her speech…had red watery eyes.”
Turner willingly admitted to driving the vehicle after taking “two to three sips” of a “Buzz Ball”—a premixed small drink with high levels of alcohol, usually around 17-20 percent per can—around 7 a.m.
After having Turner do standard sobriety tests such as the one-leg stand, Jorgensen claimed that “she performed poorly,” submitted to two blood alcohol tests that came back as .280 and .287, way over the legal limit of .08.
The driver and passenger of the black Mercedes were contacted on the scene, and Jorgensen said the driver “provided me false information” regarding his name and birth date, said Jorgensen. He later learned the driver, who had “facial injuries and complaint of pain in his hand, tested positive for meth and marijuana at the hospital.
Additionally, in the Mercedes, there was a female passenger, who was attended to by the fire department and was unconscious with “trauma to her body and a broken right leg and broken right arm.” She had “closed pelvic ring fractures, a displaced fracture at the neck of the right humerus, a fracture of the right femur, a fracture of the right acetabulum, a fracture of the left talus and—it goes on and one there are nasal bone fractures…very severe injuries.”
Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle ruled the case should go to trial and set it for February 2021.
Alana Bleimann is a junior at the University of San Francisco majoring in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice Studies. She is from Raleigh, North Carolina.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: