|On March 15, 2018 at approximately 1:45 AM, Crash Reconstructionists from the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit responded to a fatal motor vehicle collision at the intersection of East Center Street and East Sevier Avenue in Kingsport. Their subsequent findings are as follows:
On March 15, 2018 at approximately 12:30 AM, a beige 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck was stolen from a grocery store parking lot in Mars Hill, NC while the owner was at work. Approximately one hour and fifteen minutes later, that same stolen pickup, driven by Stephanie A. Houle, was westbound on East Center Street approaching a red traffic light at the intersection of East Sevier Avenue in Kingsport.
Meanwhile, a silver 2002 Hyundai Accent 4-door sedan, driven by Gregory A. Sturgill, was southbound on East Sevier Avenue and crossing the intersection with East Center Street under a green traffic light. The Ford ran the red light and struck the Hyundai directly in the driver’s door. The Hyundai was spun completely out of the roadway and into an adjacent building with such force that it knocked pieces of siding off of the structure.
Mr. Sturgill was killed in the crash. Ms. Houle crawled out of the back window of the wrecked Ford and ran from the scene to a nearby residence. She knocked on the door, and when the resident answered the door, she ran inside. The resident exited the home and summoned the arriving officers for help.
With the assistance of a Taser, responding officers overcame active resistance, and were eventually able to take Ms. Houle into custody, but not before she assaulted at least one of the arresting officers.
Once at the Kingsport City Jail, Ms. Houle performed poorly on a series of field sobriety tests. A check of her North Carolina driver license status and history revealed that it was currently suspended for a variety of previous offenses to include multiple prior convictions for Driving Under the Influence. She was ultimately charged with the following:
1) Vehicular Homicide
2) Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision Resulting in Death or Serious Injury
3) Driving Under the Influence
4) Driving on a Suspended License
5) Motor Vehicle Theft (Possession of a Stolen Vehicle)
6) Assault on a Police Officer
7) Resisting Arrest
Ms. Houle currently remains incarcerated pending arraignment. As this remains an active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit, no additional information can or will be released at this time.
Investigators ask for anyone who witnessed this crash who has not yet spoken with law enforcement to please contact the K.P.D. Traffic Unit as soon as possible at 423-224-2750.