Man charged with murder for wrong way crash released after posting 41K bond

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man is facing murder charges after police say he intentionally drove through traffic the wrong way, which resulted in the death of one woman.

On May 5 around 7 p.m., a major traffic wreck happened at the intersection of Florida Boulevard and Green Oak Drive involving a 2001 Honda Odyssey and a 2013 Chevy Equinox. A third vehicle was forced to swerve into the median to avoid being hit head on just before the collision between the Odyssey and the Equinox.

The crash resulted in the death of Thelma Fleming, 64.

The Baton Rouge Police Department says the investigation revealed the driver of the Equinox was Justin Ainsworth, 34, of Baton Rouge. He was the only person in that vehicle.

Officials say Ainsworth was originally driving east on Florida Boulevard in the eastbound lanes. According to a witness driving behind Ainsworth, he was driving in an erratic way. The witness described Ainsworth's driving as "someone who was lost and trying to figure out where they wanted to go."

After a few minutes, the witness says Ainsworth swerved quickly from the outside lane to the inside one, nearly hitting another vehicle, then drove through the median into the westbound lanes of traffic. The witness says at first, Ainsworth was driving straight while accelerating quickly, then began swerving at other vehicles. One of those vehicles was being driven by a woman, who says she saw the Equinox coming towards her and started moving towards the shoulder, but the Equinox kept coming at her, so she drove completely off the road to avoid a head on crash. There were two other people in the vehicle with the woman.

Officials say Ainsworth then had a head on collision with the Odyssey, killing the female driver.

Ainsworth reportedly did not have any alcohol in his system at the time of the wreck. Officials also say Ainsworth sugar level was elevated when EMS transported his to a hospital, but doctors say it was not at a dangerous level.

Ainsworth was arrested on Tuesday, November 28 and is charged with reckless operation, second degree murder, and attempted second degree murder (three counts). He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and was released after posting a $41,000 bond. The bond amount was issued by Judge Richard D. Anderson.

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