Charges filed in fatal crash

Published 9:20 am Thursday, August 5, 2010

GATESVILLE – Charges have been filed as the result of a fatal accident that occurred near here July 23.

Emilie Thiery, 16, of Windsor, Va. was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. Jessica Lynne Smith, 20, of Norfolk, Va. was killed in the two-vehicle at the intersection of US 158 and NC 37.

Smith was a passenger in a 1996 Dodge Caravan operated by Thiery. Due to the severity of the accident (the van caught fire following impact), it took dental records to properly identify Smith as the fatal victim of the crash.

According to a report filed by North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J.G. Williams, a 1994 Peterbilt tractor trailer was traveling west on U.S. 158 while the van was traveling south on NC 37.

Williams said the van came to a stop at the U.S. 158 intersection at which time Thiery reportedly failed to yield the right of way and pulled into the intersection.

The tractor trailer, operated by Scottie Howard, 29, of Thomasville, struck the van on the driver’s side at a sliding door on the back of the van, despite efforts by Howard to avoid the collision.

“The second vehicle caught fire, traveled off the roadway to the right and came to rest facing the southeast on the shoulder of U.S. 158,” Trooper Williams said.

The driver of the van and the front seat passenger – Kenneth Thiery, 46, – were each airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Howard was not injured in the accident. Neither was a passenger in his truck, 15-year-old Kirby Rowe.

The motor vehicle fatality was the fourth in Gates County this year.