Mount Carmel woman indicted following fatal February crash

Rain Smith • Sep 17, 2010 at 3:42 AM

The survivor of a fatal two-car traffic collision in Hawkins County has been arrested, with prosecutors saying she was under the influence when the wreck occurred last February.

According to Hawkins County Assistant District Attorney Alex Pearson, Carol Anne Starnes, 25, of 712 Redwood Drive, Mount Carmel, is charged with vehicular homicide. He declined to comment on what intoxicants she was allegedly influenced by when the wreck occurred, saying it would be revealed in court.

A sealed indictment was returned against Starnes on Aug. 23. She was arrested Thursday with her first court appearance scheduled for Oct. 8.

The wreck, a head-on collision, occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, in front of a fire station located at 5740 Carters Valley Road. Patricia Menzel , 49, of Oak Street in Surgoinsville, was killed.

At the time of the wreck, emergency responders on scene told reporters it was one of the worst they had ever seen. Mount Carmel Police Department Lt. Kevin Ewing reported Menzel was traveling in a Honda Civic, while Starnes was driving a Volkswagen Jetta in the opposite direction.

Starnes crossed the center line, according to police, hitting Menzel's vehicle head-on. She was flown via helicopter to the hospital, where she died. Starnes was transported by EMS with cuts to her legs.

Pearson said Starnes vehicular homicide charge is a Class B felony, which can carry a prison term of eight to 10 years convicted.

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