On September 14, a Fuquay-Varina woman made her first appearance in court on charges that she inflicted fatal personal injuries on another woman when she backed over her with her minivan at a gas station.
30-year-old Amanda Bailey Culross has been charged with second-degree murder, DWI, child abuse, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The latter two charges are the result of her three daughters, ages 4-9, being in the minivan when the accident occurred.
Authorities say the accident took place at a Hess station at the intersection of N.C. Highway 27 and N.C. Highway 55 in Coats at approximately 3:30 p.m. on September 11.
Police say that 75-year-old Jo Ann Bacon, who had spent 40 years teaching at area schools before retiring, was walking across the parking lot to pay for gas when she was struck by Culross’ minivan.
A police report said that Culross “had a strong odor of alcohol” and a blood test was administered. The results of the test are not yet available. Coats Police Chief Eddie Jaggers says they believe “100 percent” that alcohol was involved.
According to authorities, a person being charged with second-degree murder in a DWI collision is a question of malice. Factors such as whether the person has a prior DWI conviction, fled police, fled the scene, or was driving in an extremely reckless manner.
Court documents show that Culross had been found guilty of DWI and failure to reduce speed in Wake County 2008. That decision is under appeal.
Jaggers, the first officer to respond to the scene, said when he arrived, Culross was attempting to perform first aid on Bacon.