Jury finds SC woman guilty of felony death by vehicle in 2015 crash
Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017
COLUMBUS – A Taylors, S.C. woman will be spending the next three to five years in prison after a Polk County jury found her guilty of felony death by vehicle for wreck in 2015 that killed a Piedmont, S.C. woman.
Samantha Lucille Reynolds, 24, of 65 Reynolds Drive, Taylors, S.C., was found guilty of felony death by vehicle on Friday, July 7 following a trial by jury in Polk County Superior Court.
Reynolds was sentenced to 42-63 months in prison for the death of her friend, Megan Brooke Skelton, who was the sole passenger in her car when she wrecked along Hwy. 108 near Midway Baptist Church, just outside Columbus on May 22, 2015.
The N.C. Highway Patrol investigated the crash and originally charged Reynolds with death by vehicle and reckless driving to endanger. Following toxicology results, Reynolds’ charges were upgraded to felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and reckless driving, according to court records.
Reynolds’ blood alcohol level was 0.11, according to court records. 0.08 is the legal impairment blood alcohol level in North Carolina.
Reynolds told state troopers she swerved to miss a deer, according to original reports.
The wreck occurred over Memorial Day weekend in 2015 with the women traveling in a 1999 Ford Mustang convertible along Hwy. 108 towards Columbus from Mill Spring. Skelton was wearing a seat belt, according to court records. Reynolds was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.
The N.C. Highway Patrol said the vehicle was traveling west on N.C. 108 when the vehicle went left of center and lost control in a curve. The vehicle ran off the right side of the road and struck a ditch, according to the highway patrol, and overturned down an embankment. The driver of the vehicle (Reynolds) was ejected and came to a rest on the roadside, according to highway patrol reports. The vehicle came to a rest in the parking area of Midway Baptist Church, according to the report.
The wreck occurred at 11:12 p.m. on May 22, 2015, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol report.
Skelton was transported to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center the night of the wreck, where she died from her injuries.
Skelton was in her mid-20s.
The N.C. Highway Patrol originally reported that Reynolds was driving 70 mph in the 55 mph zone of Hwy. 108.
Last week’s trial was presided by Judge J. Thomas Davis.
Reynolds pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The trial began on Wednesday, July 5 with jury selection and evidence heard mostly on Thursday, July 6. The jury came back with a guilty verdict on the charge of felony death by vehicle on Friday afternoon, July 7.