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Drivers indicted in separate fatal Kingsport DUI crashes

Rain Smith • Aug 2, 2018 at 2:01 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Sullivan County grand jury has handed down indictments against two people for their alleged roles in separate fatal DUI crashes.

The first incident occurred Feb. 22 on East Stone Drive. The Kingsport Police Department reported that at about 6:40 a.m. near Stonebrook Place, a 1996 Chevrolet Blazer crossed into oncoming traffic, triggering a head-on collision with a 1998 Blazer.

The allegedly at-fault driver, Brian Elliott Johnson, 39, 1610 Charles St., ran from the scene. Meanwhile, a passenger in the other vehicle, 30-year-old Tiffany L. Moore, was killed in the collision.

KPD officers soon located Johnson on nearby Arbutus Avenue and took him into custody. He was hospitalized for injuries sustained in the wreck, then later booked into the Sullivan County jail on multiple felony charges: vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment.

Last week, a grand jury confirmed those charges along with several misdemeanors Johnson incurred in the incident. Those include possession of drug paraphernalia, leaving the scene and driving under the influence. According to court records, he has been convicted of the latter charge five times since 1999.

Johnson is currently held on $100,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 20.

The second incident occurred March 15 in downtown Kingsport. The KPD reported that at about 1:45 a.m., a 1996 Ford Ranger ran a red light at the intersection of East Center Street and East Sevier Avenue. It slammed into the driver’s side door of a vehicle that had a green light, killing the driver, Gregory A. Sturgill, 44, of Kingsport.

About an hour and 15 minutes prior to the wreck, the Ranger had been stolen from a grocery store in Mars Hill, N.C. Police say Stephanie A. Houle, 40, of Alexander, N.C., was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

She allegedly ran to a nearby residence and knocked on the door, darting inside when a resident answered. Police were arriving on the scene of the crash, and the resident summoned them for help. Houle reportedly resisted the officers, who ultimately Tasered her.

A grand jury has indicted Houle on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, her fourth count of DUI, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and theft over 10,000. She is currently held in the Sullivan County jail on $60,000 bond.

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