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Driver charged in fatality

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — A 25-year-old Laurel Fork woman has been charged by indictment in connection with a death in a Sept. 9 traffic accident on Pleasant View Road.

Bethanie Coulson, 18, was a passenger in a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner that ran off the road, overturned and struck a tree, according to a Virginia State Police accident report by Trooper J.R. Alderman. Coulson was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the Toyota, Amanda Gail Lester, has now been indicted on one charge each of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated involuntary manslaughter in a special October session of the Carroll County grand jury.

The indictment, originally sealed by the court until warrants could be served, was released this week.

The aggravated involuntary manslaughter count accuses Lester of driving under the influence in a manner so grossly "wanton and culpable to show a reckless disregard for human life," the indictment said.

An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

Other indictments unsealed by the court name:

• Steven Dale Miller of Woodlawn, one count each of rape of a female child and forcible sodomy.

• Richard Allen Williams of Fries, one count of credit card theft and 28 counts of credit card fraud.