By David Hedges, Publisher

A Calhoun County woman who admitted taking prescription pills prior to a collision on Black Walnut Avenue pled guilty to a reduced charge in Roane Circuit Court.

Tammy Lynn lively, 50, of Orma was scheduled to go on trial Monday on a felony charge of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury.

Prosecutor Josh Downey said he agreed to drop the felony and accept a misdemeanor plea because lively had not been tested for drugs.

Two helicopters landed on Black Walnut Avenue in December 2016 after Hively's vehicle struck a car driven by Loretta Lynn Koon, who was airlifted to a Charleston hospital. Koon said earlier this year that she still suffers from injuries stemming from the incident.

This was a second time Hively entered a plea in the case, after her first plea was rejected.

In April Hively entered a "high/low" plea to both a felony charge of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor charge of DUI resulting in injury.

In entering the plea, Hively admitted to Circuit Judge Anita Ashley she had taken Xanax prior to the accident.

Under terms of the original plea, sentencing would have been deferred for a year during which time Hively would have been monitored by a probation officer.

If she completed the year without any problems, the felony would have been dismissed and Hively would have been sentenced on the misdemeanor charge.

That plea was rejected in June after Ashley found Hively had not been truthful with a probation officer who conducted a pre-sentence investigation.

On Monday Hively, represented by public defender Andrew Vodden, pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of DUI resulting in injury, which carries up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Downey said problems arose with the case because Hively's blood was tested for alcohol, with none found, but not for drugs.

"We didn't have anything to show what the levels were in her system, so we would have had to go to trial with only circumstantial evidence," the prosecutor said.

A sentencing hearing was set for Dec. 17.

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