Virginia State Police
DUI driver did quick U-turn to avoid sobriety checkpoint and killed mother of two in head-on crash
Rebecca W. Starling was on her way to N. C. from Missouri for Christmas; her two children injured as Samantha Dennis tried to avoid being arrested
COEBURN, VA. Virginia State Police is investigating a fatal crash in Wise County. The crash occurred at 2:48 p.m., Friday (Dec. 23), on Route 58 less than a mile east of Route 72 in the town of Coeburn.
A 2014 Chevrolet Equinox was traveling east on Route 58 when it abruptly stopped in the middle of the highway when it came upon a DUI checkpoint being conducted by the Coeburn Police Department and Wise County Sheriff’s Office. The Chevrolet made an abrupt U-turn and began driving west in the eastbound travel lane. The westbound Chevrolet then struck head-on an eastbound 2007 Dodge Magnum.
The driver of the Chevrolet, Samantha R. Dennis, 36, of Coeburn, Va., was transported by ambulance to Mountain State Hospital. She has been treated and released, and is now in State Police custody. Charges are pending at this time.
The driver of the Dodge, Rebecca W. Starling, 32, of St. Charles, Mo., died at the scene. She was wearing a seatbelt. Two passengers, her 5-year-old daughter was flown by State Police Med-Flight to Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening, injuries; and her 2-year-old daughter was transported by ambulance to Norton Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Both girls were secured in child safety seats.