Teresa Ann Kruk: Fiery Fourth Leads to Felony DWI Charge

We've said it before, we're saying it again, and, sadly, we are sure we will have to say it some more down the line: drunk driving is dumb and utterly irresponsible.

Drunk driving with a kid aboard is much worse, and doing both of the above with a barbecue pit full of hot coals in the bed of your truck...well, that ascends to a rare plateau of stupidity. Plus, it's the kind of thing that the rest of the country makes fun of Texas for.

And according to police in College Station, that's just what 20-year-old Teresa Ann Kruk did on the Fourth of July, and it cost her a pick-up truck and her freedom. She should count herself lucky -- it could have resulted in horrific deaths for three people, including her own young child.

College Station cops said Kruk's truck was engulfed in flames by the time they arrived on the scene around 7 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Once there, an off-duty fire marshal told police that he had seen smoke billowing from the truck's bed while the cab's three occupants -- Kruk, a friend, and Kruk's three-year-old son -- drove through town and stared straight ahead oblivious. They failed to notice anything amiss even as the fire marshal honked and flashed his lights in a futile attempt to get their attention.

He finally succeeded at a red light, and quickly the trio escaped the truck, which soon enough became a fireball.

Kruk reportedly told police that she had spent the sunny holiday grilling out at Lake Bryan and was headed back to her home in the Grimes County hamlet of Iola. She said she had placed the grill, still full of hot coals, in the back of her truck, and that it must have tipped over back there and ignited. (Imagine if she had done this in the crackling heat of last year's hideous drought: half of Brazos County might have been incinerated from the sparks flying out of the truck.)

Police suspected she had been drinking and Kruk admitted that she had. She submitted to two breath tests, both of which she flunked, coming in at a shade under the state's old threshold of 0.10 and a shade over the new limit of 0.08 each time.

Kruk was charged with DWI with a child passenger, a state-jail felony punishable by up to two years imprisonment. She was released Thursday, her bond set at $5,000.

This is apparently her first offense of any kind.

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax