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

MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
Investigators sorted through the wreckage of a four-vehicle accident in the eastbound lanes of River Watch Parkway.
Friday, March 15, 2013 8:13 AM
Last updated Saturday, March 16, 2013 1:40 AM
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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.

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Monique E. Sullivan was driving 77 mph before hitting the first car, according to investigators.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Monique E. Sullivan was driving 77 mph before hitting the first car, according to investigators.

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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CricketSeranade
593
Points
CricketSeranade 03/15/13 - 08:59 am
9
1
Did anyone ever call into

Did anyone ever call into question this woman's sobriety? I'm asking because, honestly, I cannot fathom any other reason this woman would drive for three miles in the WRONG direction. If she was sober, then why isn't she talking? Unless she had a medical condition, which I doubt because that would be an effective defense, she should be charged with reckless disregard of human life. She knew driving on the wrong side of the road could potentially, if not most likely, cause a crash that would put someone's life in jeapordy. Think that's too harsh? Imagine if your child, spouse, or parent were in the car with Ms. Hitz or Ms. Floyd.

jmo6868@msn.com
11
Points
jmo6868@msn.com 03/15/13 - 09:29 am
9
2
WHY

Why has it taken three months to arrest this person?

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 03/15/13 - 09:39 am
0
0
crack, weed, and
Unpublished

crack, weed, and purple drank....are "hellava" drugs...to paraphase the late rick james

cafsmom2
12
Points
cafsmom2 03/15/13 - 09:50 am
8
2
I don't think alcohol was the

I don't think alcohol was the issue but maybe she was angry with her husband and decided that they all would die together. Maybe this is why she is not talking.

elyag0
37
Points
elyag0 03/15/13 - 09:57 am
5
8
wrong way on River watch

I can see how this could happen. The new entrance to River watch Parkway and the exit are side by side at Board and Riverwatch entrance. If you are not paying attention you can turn in on the wrong ramp. No one pays any attention driving any more. Cell phones are the biggest problem. So many times people are so busy talking they drive over in to your lane, go through red lights, etc. People put down the phone and DRIVE

Farmboy
934
Points
Farmboy 03/15/13 - 10:20 am
6
2
I need to be silent.

I can't say anything about this.

gailkaitschuck
18
Points
gailkaitschuck 03/15/13 - 10:13 am
11
2
Perhaps but we're talking

Perhaps but we're talking about driving for THREE MILES down the wrong way. Were both she and her husband drunk out of their minds with their four year old son in the vehicle?

Fiat_Lux
15146
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/15/13 - 10:49 am
10
0
I'd like to know how the victims are faring

as well as what this woman has to say about what she did.

You'd think if she did this unintentionally and completely by accident that she would have allowed that information to be known somewhere along the way, and also might have expressed sorrow for causing such terrible harm to other people.

Little Lamb
45398
Points
Little Lamb 03/15/13 - 02:24 pm
6
0
Bad Design

I edited this post because my recollection of the street/ramp problem was incorrect. The problem lies at the intersection of Broad Street and Greene Street. If one is not paying attention at that very wide, multi-lane intersection, one could easily wind up going the wrong way down the exit ramp.

Fiat_Lux
15146
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/15/13 - 10:51 am
8
2
Even a big overhead sign

saying "DO NOT ENTER", or some such, that extends across all lanes would have a huge effect in orienting drivers.

GiantsAllDay
9436
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/15/13 - 11:58 am
4
13
Why is Ms. Floyd's occupation

Why is Ms. Floyd's occupation newsworthy or relevant? Would the AC have reported Augusta plumber Maureen Floyd? Augusta accountant Maureen Floyd? Augusta janitor Maureen Floyd? Augusta retiree Maureen Floyd? If you hit a lawyer with your car, are the penalties greater than if you hit a janitor?

CricketSeranade
593
Points
CricketSeranade 03/15/13 - 12:29 pm
6
2
Re: Ms. Floyd

I'm glad they did tell her occupation. Saves me from racking my brain to come up with where I've heard that name before. Now I know that I have seen her name on several legal documents during my research on criminal cases in Augusta. It's no big deal. No one is saying that what happened to her is any worse than what happened to Ms. Hitz, nor are they saying the penalties are or should be greater.

Dudeness
1544
Points
Dudeness 03/15/13 - 12:35 pm
12
0
Delay

I've read elsewhere that the delay in arresting her was to avoid responsibility for paying her medical bills. That alleviates my previous anger with her not being arrested before and thinking she had escaped any charges.

Austin Rhodes
2855
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/15/13 - 01:09 pm
8
3
Maureen Floyd is a very prominent attorney...

...who is quite well known for charity and pro bono work, as well as many, many years of unblemished work in her field. That means that 100s if not 1000s of people have been directly affected by her representation personally.

Nothing against plumbers...or anyone else...but this is a lady who matters, and whose loss to this community would be felt in a dramatic way.

concernmom
403
Points
concernmom 03/15/13 - 01:09 pm
13
1
really?

Ok, so she drives for 3 miles at a HIGH rate of SPEED just plowing through cars with her husband screaming out of the passenger side window, not speaking to police at the hospital, showing no remorse for the 2 people critically injured, not to mention the others who were injured & traumatized by this event...thank God she was arrested!
May justice prevail!

Austin Rhodes
2855
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/15/13 - 01:10 pm
13
2
...and yes...

....the delay in arrest was 100% due to the effort to avoid the megabucks medical bill she ran up...

AutumnLeaves
7158
Points
AutumnLeaves 03/15/13 - 03:15 pm
12
0
At least now I understand

At least now I understand about the delay in the arrest. That's the only thing that has made sense so far.

Darby
25098
Points
Darby 03/15/13 - 11:59 pm
5
2
Not sure about your query....

Giants, but it does bring to mind the age old question about why sharks won't eat lawyers...

mrsmikep
25
Points
mrsmikep 03/15/13 - 07:59 pm
9
1
NUTS

I'm glad she was arrested and I'm glad the county was smart enough to avoid being responsible for her medical bills. I have never known a Sober, normal, sane person to drive 3 miles in the WRONG direction. Something does not add up!!

just an opinion
2500
Points
just an opinion 03/15/13 - 10:16 pm
8
1
And the husband is just as guilty!

In 3 miles he had ample time to disable the vehicle. Turn the key off, throw it into different gears jamming the transmission, punching her in the side of the face until she went unconscious or grabbing the steering wheel and putting the vehicle against the guard rail. Among other victims, a mother is brain dead and her two children cry themselves to sleep every night all beacause of an INTENTIONAL ACT. Hopefully life in prison is given to the two perpetrators.

dichotomy
32188
Points
dichotomy 03/15/13 - 11:01 pm
5
1
Whatever this was, it was NOT

Whatever this was, it was NOT an accident. Temper....rage.....something........but not an accident. It amounts multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Whatever it was, this woman needs to be taken off of the streets and locked up for a very, very long time.

r
400
Points
r 03/16/13 - 01:05 am
2
3
who cares that she hit an attorney!!!

Do you really think you can drive three miles on Riverwatch Parkway in your right mind and not realize there is a problem? I drive this several times a week and I would know. Besides that if you are innocent couldn't you explain to the families you affected why this happened if it is an innocent mistake? Besides that the other women who will mostly never walk or talk again is a Vascular Surgeons wife in the area so if we wanted to play role call I am sure that would be front page news. This story is sad I have no clue why anyone would do this but she did and maybe its about time ignorance become a crime when you are hurting other people.

nocnoc
41485
Points
nocnoc 03/16/13 - 05:38 am
5
1
I think cafsmom2 may be has nailed it

A major family argument over something.

Now, whats sets a women off emotionally enough to want to kill or get even with a husband?

nocnoc
41485
Points
nocnoc 03/16/13 - 05:48 am
3
1
Also For stink & giggles

lets say it started out as a mistake.

How many cars did she pass in that 3 miles doing 70+ MPH
not to of noticed she was heading the wrong way?

She could have, & should have stopped after the 1st few cars passed her honking their horns.

Or, is someone going to try and say the River Watch road was empty for 3 miles that time of day?

Their lawyer would be happy to be battling just up a hill, and not a cliff. battle.

CobaltGeorge
155742
Points
CobaltGeorge 03/16/13 - 08:20 am
1
2
Her Actions

can be compared to the Sandy Hook shooting. A deranged human. Too bad her life didn't end the same way.

CricketSeranade
593
Points
CricketSeranade 03/16/13 - 08:48 am
2
1
Seriously?

No criminal intent? Let me see if I've got this straight...She drove at speeds in excess of 70 mph, going the wrong direction for THREE miles, she made no effort to avoid oncoming traffic, she didn't attempt to stop, she has no excuse, no justification for her actions, and apparently no remorse. So how is it there was no criminal intent? This woman needs to be charged with no less than 5 counts of attempted murder and when Ms. Hitz finally succumbs to her injuries, she needs to be charged with murder for her death. It was tragic when we first heard about this incident, now that we know the details, it's absolutely enraging. This woman has no reverence for human life. The DA needs to throw every charge in the book at her. I guess I'm supposed to pray for her but I find myself wishing very bad things for Mrs. Sullivan right now. Very bad things indeed.

american rose
237
Points
american rose 03/16/13 - 03:52 pm
3
1
Not an accident. Mrs. Hitz

Not an accident. Mrs. Hitz is forever changed, because this woman doesn't care about anyone but herself and what she wants. She knew she was going down the wrong way. She passed several cars. All she had to do was pull over, wait till it was clear and turned around. She is one of those people out there that think they don't have to follow the rules and didn't care how her actions would affect others. I only hope this woman goes to jail for the pain she caused the Hitz family and the other people forever affected by this woman.

homemedic
9
Points
homemedic 03/18/13 - 01:36 am
0
1
Attemp to do harm

the way roads are marked today. its almost impossible not to know youre going the wrong way for 3 miles. i guess you could be stupid, drunk, on drugs or unless youre intending to do harm...which could be the case because at 77 mph and no braking...

Incredulous in NC
2
Points
Incredulous in NC 03/18/13 - 07:07 pm
0
1
"Accident"?? Really???

This woman was going for 3 miles, the wrong way, at 70+ mph & this is an "accident"?? She never touched the brakes! This wasn't a "mistake" or "confusion about the on-ramp", this was plain & simple malice aforethought, reckless endangerment, total disregard for the safety of anyone. Like she couldn't tell she was going the wrong was for 3 miles?? Hello?? The saddest part of all is Amelia Hiltz will never be the same, the 33-year-old mother of 2 is in a permanent vegetative state. Her children will never get to experience growing up with their mom. Her family has been torn apart by the carelessness, thoughtlessness & selfish act of someone who doesn't even have the guts enough to explain why she did this. And no one is forcing her to do that! To top it all off, Sullivan is underinsured & has limited assets (of course she found a way to make her bail of $70K didn't she?). Who pays for the astronomical medical bills of not only Mrs Hiltz but of every other victim? Think Sullivan or her insurance will? And there is no price you can put on someone's life. Now the tax payers have to pay to put this woman away. She has cost everyone dearly & takes no responsibility. Amazing she got out on bail... but if it saves the state from having to pay any of HER medical bills, then kick her to the street... or better yet, roll her wheelchair into oncoming traffic on River Watch Parkway & see how she fares....

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