Educator and activist was intoxicated prior to fatal crash

By WEEK Producer

September 10, 2013 Updated Sep 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A Peoria woman was driving drunk before a fatal crash in March of this year.

On March 18, longtime educator and community activist Dr. Barbara Penelton died in an overnight crash.

The 75-year-old was driving the wrong way at the intersection of Sterling and Gilbert in Peoria when she hit another car head on.

A toxicology report shows that Penelton's blood alcohol level was a .352 at the time of the crash.

The other driver, Tammy Hall-Matthews, suffered potentially permanent injuries.

The Peoria County coroner said Penelton died from multiple traumatic injuries to the neck, chest and abdomen. Adding that alcohol was a contributing factor to the crash.

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