Records show woman accused of hitting, killing cyclist had prior DWI arrest

Melissa Nicole Peoples, 48, charged with intoxication manslaughter

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Tim Stewart - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A driver accused of leaving the scene after hitting and killing a cyclist on the far Northwest side had a prior arrest for driving while intoxicated, according to online records.

An online record on PublicData.com showed Melissa Nicole Peoples, 48, was previously arrested in Texas in January 2009 on a charge of DWI.

However, unlike most records in that system, it does not indicate where the arrest happened.

ORIGINAL STORY: Woman charged in hit-and-run that killed bicyclist

San Antonio police said they do not show any such prior arrests for her in their system, indicating it may have happened outside Bexar County.

Peoples' most recent arrest came around 5:30 p.m. Monday after a deadly crash near Interstate 10 and Dominion Drive, which police said was alcohol-related.

She is facing charges of intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid, which are both second-degree felonies.

Police said Peoples drove off after hitting and killing 58-year-old Naji Tanios Kayruz, who was riding a bicycle with lights in a marked bike lane at the time of the crash.

"The preliminary information indicates that the SUV just ended up veering into the lane," said Jennifer Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio Police Department.

When officers arrived at the scene, they initially found no sign of the driver.

Within a few minutes, officers had a strong lead, telling them where she might be.

"They received calls from witnesses that had reported the possible driver that had struck that cyclist had also been involved in a second accident," Rodriguez said.

Peoples also is accused of leaving the scene of the second crash, which happened a few miles away from the first scene.

Bexar County deputies caught up with Peoples nearby, then SAPD took her into custody.

"A DWI officer did conduct field sobriety tests on this driver and did indicate that she did show signs of intoxication," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said it was unclear why Peoples allegedly ran from the scene.

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