published Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Ringgold, Ga., woman charged in fatal crash on Interstate 24

A 21-year-old Ringgold, Ga., woman faces a charge of vehicular homicide after she told Chattanooga police investigators she was driving in excess of 100 mph to pick up her sick child when she lost control of her car on Interstate 24.

Ariel Cathleen Campbell, who told police she had been partying all night with her husband at a friend's house, lost control of her Chrysler Concord on I-24 on Oct. 26. She slid into a concrete barrier before going across all four lanes of traffic, and there was a six-car pileup. The driver of a Chevrolet S-10 pickup, 61-year-old James Morgan, was killed when his truck rolled over after he swerved out of the way, according to the arrest report.

Morgan was ejected from the truck and died from his injuries, according to police.

Campbell, who is staying with her in-laws in Soddy-Daisy, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. A man who answered the phone said she was speaking with her attorney.

Witnesses told police Campbell was passing other cars on both the left and right shoulders at a high rate of speed.

Police said they do not suspect Campbell was impaired at the time of the crash, but the results of blood tests are pending.

Morgan's death was one of 22 traffic fatalities in Chattanooga in 2012. To date this year, there have been no traffic deaths in the city.

Campbell's bond was set at $10,000. Her next court date is Jan. 28 before Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes.

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