The Mount Airy woman who allegedly injured four people in a head-on collision Saturday has 12 DWI convictions on her record.
Christina Dawn Steele, 43, of 135 Louise Lane, was out on bond and awaiting a hearing on prior drug-related charges before Saturday night’s wreck, where authorities say that alcohol was a factor.
The accident occurred at about 11:45 p.m. on Saturday on Linville Road near the entrance to the granite quarry, according to Surry County EMS Director John Shelton.
An investigation by the N.C. Highway Patrol concluded that Steele’s 2010 Nissan crossed the center line and struck a 1997 Chrysler with four occupants. Both vehicles were traveling at an estimated 35 mph at the time.
The trooper’s report detailed suspicion of alcohol use by Steele, who refused to take a blood-alcohol test. The Highway Patrol seized her Nissan and charged Steele with driving while impaired.
Steele also was charged with traveling left of center, driving with a suspended operator’s license, failure to wear a seat belt, possession of an open container of alcohol, and possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.
She is scheduled to appear in district court on April 6.
The Chrysler was driven by Amber Walker, 27, of Grove Lane.
Steele was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center by EMS crews, according to Shelton.
Walker and her three passengers, Charles Walker, 25, of Grove Lane, Bryan Eustace, 18, of West Oakdale Street, and Zachary Hill, 25, of Byerly Street, were also injured and transported for medical care as a result of the collision.
Shelton noted Charles Walker had sustained the worst of the injuries and was transported to Baptist in critical condition. The other four people were in serious condition or better when they were transported to area hospitals.
An official at Baptist indicated on Tuesday that Charles Walker’s condition had been upgraded to fair. Hill and Steele were in good condition. However, Amber Walker remained in serious condition.
Eustace was transported to and treated at Northern Hospital of Surry County, according to Shelton.
Though the report does not note any charges were filed against Amber Walker as a result of Saturday’s incident, the court calendar indicates she was due to appear in court on Tuesday on previous vehicular charges of failure to maintain lane control, driving left of center and operating with unsafe tires.
She is also scheduled to appear in district court on March 17 on a charge of possession or consumption of an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle.
While Steele will face charges on this accident in April, the 43-year-old also is scheduled to appear in district court Feb. 22 on the unrelated charges for which she had posted bond.
Those charges include trafficking opium or heroine, possession of schedule II and schedule VI controlled substances, possession of cocaine, maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute a schedule VI controlled substance and manufacturing a schedule VI controlled substance.
She posted bond in the amount of $250,000 for those charges on Oct. 22, according to Surry County Detention Center officials.
Steele has a long history of convictions dating back to 1990, when she was convicted of resisting arrest, larceny, forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to N.C. Department of Corrections records she has been convicted of DWI 12 times and has also been convicted of multiple drug-related offenses.
She served a term in jail for habitual impaired driving from June of 2009 to May of 2011, according to the records. Her most recent period of incarceration was from April of 2013 to August of 2014, after she was convicted of being involved in a conspiracy to assault a person with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.