Driver in December's wrong-way wreck on River Watch granted bond, released



A woman accused of causing a four-car crash on River Watch Parkway in December was granted a $70,000 bond and released Friday, a day after she surrendered to the sheriff’s office.

Monique E. Sullivan, 31, of Beech Island, faces two counts of serious injury by vehicle in the Dec. 10 wreck she caused, according to witnesses, by driving on the wrong side of the road at high speed. She surrendered Thursday after recovering from her injuries.

Sullivan’s attorney, Willie Saunders, said Friday in Rich­mond County Superior Court that tests have revealed she was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sullivan doesn’t own a cellphone, so that wasn’t a possible distraction, and it wasn’t a suicidal act, Saun­ders said.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Land said accident reconstruction investigators believe Sullivan’s sport utility vehicle was going 77 mph just before hitting one vehicle, which set off a chain of crashes. There is no evidence Sullivan applied the brakes before the crash, Land said.

Maureen Floyd was hospitalized for weeks with a torn aorta, said her daughter and fellow attorney Sarah Blake on Friday. Another victim, 32-year-old Amelia Hiltz, is not expected to recover, said family members and the prosecutor. Family members of both women opposed bond, Blake said.

Hiltz suffered severe brain injuries and has been comatose since the crash, the prosecutor said. She is the mother of two small children.

Sheriff’s officials said Sullivan was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban with her husband and son, 4, when she drove west in the eastbound lanes for three miles before wrecking.

Hiltz, who was in the same lane as Sullivan, tried to veer right before being struck by Sullivan’s SUV, which then struck Kevin Mollenhauer’s vehicle. Sullivan’s vehicle flipped and hit a fourth car driven by Floyd.

On Friday, the prosecutor said neither Sullivan nor her husband has explained how or why she was on River Watch Parkway that afternoon.

The sheriff’s office’s criminal investigation division assisted in the case but reported it found no criminal intent to cause harm.

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Wrong-way driving crashes claim hundreds of US lives annually