Report faults Miccosukee tribal police over fatal car accident
A report from a state prosecutor in Florida says police officers from the Miccosukee Tribe prevented authorities from determining who was at a fault in a fatal accident.

Tatiana Furry, a non-Indian, was reportedly drinking heavily at the tribe's casino before she drove away. She was in the wrong lane when she collided with a vehicle driven by Kent Billie, a tribal member, in the early morning hours of January 21, 2009.

Furry's blood alcohol level was four times the state's legal limit. Billie allegedly was driving under the influence of drugs but won't face charges due to lack of evidence, the prosecutor said.

"We can prove no other cause for the collision other than Ms. Furry's presence in the wrong lane," the prosecutor wrote in a memo closing the case, The Miami Herald reported.

According to the report, tribal officers prevented a state officer from administering a blood test on Billie at the scene even though the incident did not take place on the reservation. Workers at an area hospital did take some blood but tribal officers -- acting under a tribal court order -- went there and seized the vials, the prosecutor said.

A test of the blood by tribal police turned up traces of drugs but the prosecutor said the information can't be considered since it was handled outside of the state system. Florida is a Public Law 280 state.

Get the Story:
Miccosukee tribal police accused of foiling crash probe (The Miami Herald 6/16)

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