Georgia woman on border mission charged in crash that killed guardsman indicted

A 25-year-old Georgia woman is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning on an indictment charging her with driving drunk and killing a Louisiana Army National Guardsman in McAllen last year.

Bianca Farmer is charged with intoxication manslaughter for the death of Spc. Nashyra S. Whitaker, 23, and intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury for Claude Cecil Berry, whose arm needed to be amputated following the crash.

After the crash, the Army Times reported that both Farmer and Berry were with the Georgia National Guard and that they and Whitaker were in the Rio Grande Valley because they were assigned to a federalized National Guard border mission.

The crash occurred at 2:24 a.m. on Sept. 5, 2021 in the 100 block of North 23rd Street where McAllen police found a silver Ford F-150 with major damage to its front left side near a wooden pole with debris on the roadway, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Responding officers spoke with Bianca and smelled a strong odor of alcohol from Farmer, who told police she only had one drink at “The Gallery” in the downtown bar district, according to the affidavit, which said she told police she was driving to a Hampton Inn hotel when the crash happened.

“Mrs. Farmer (said) that she had been traveling northbound on 23rd street when someone cut her off which caused her to swerve,” the affidavit stated.

She bonded out of the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center on Sept. 8, 2021, on a total of $190,000 in bonds.

Her status with the Georgia National Guard was not immediately clear as of Saturday morning.