NEW INFO: Authorities Think Texting Was Cause Of Kinston Fatal Crash

Authorities are now saying the cause of a fatal accident in Kinston Wednesday might be because the driver was texting behind the wheel.

Troopers tell WITN 18 year old Stephanie Jones veered into oncoming traffic on Neuse Road colliding head on with Crystal Coulter's car. Officials say Jones was killed instantly, Coulter is still in the hospital with non life threatening injuries.

Troopers say Jones was not wearing a seat belt and they believe she was sending or receiving a text message at the time of the crash.

Starting December 1st it will be illegal to drive and text in North Carolina. If caught we'll get smacked with a $100 fine plus court fees.


When now know the identity of the person killed Wednesday morning after a Lenoir County car crash.

It happened just before 8:00 a.m. in the 500 block of Neuse Road in Kinston.

Troopers tell us 18 year old Stephanie Jones was traveling south on Neuse Road when she veered into oncoming traffic. Crystal Coulter, traveling north on Neuse Road tried to veer out of the way but was not successful. Authorities say the two cars collided head on, they believe Jones was killed instantly while Coulter was flown to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Troopers say Coulter has two broken legs, a broken pelvis, and broken bones in her face but should recover.

Now authorities are looking into what caused the crash.


One person is dead in a morning accident in Lenoir County.

It happened just before 8:00 a.m. in the 500 block of Neuse Road in Kinston.

Two vehicles were involved in the crash, but state troopers have yet to release more information about the crash.


WITN is gathering details on an accident that happened just before 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Lenoir County dispatchers say a crash happened on the 500 block of Neuse Rd. in Kinston. The EastCare helicopter has been sent to respond to injuries.

Dispatchers say they believe the accident involved two vehicles. No further details were available since emergency crews were just arriving on scene.

The Highway Patrol branch in Lenoir County says several of its troopers are on the scene, including one who is helping direct traffic at Neuse Rd. and Highway 70.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Babs Location: Wilmington on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:35 PM
    I am so very sorry about Stephanie. BUT...what about Crystal. She has every bone in her face crushed. She has multiple bones broken. She is facing a very, very, very long time of recovery. I understand Pitt Memorial would not touch her face. She is to be sent to Chapel Hill. Her aunt had a similar accident (not her fault either) and it is still affecting her all these many years later. This is uncalled for and undue pain inflicted on someone else, very possibly for the rest of her life. My prayers to both families. This was a very tragic mistake.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 22, 2009 at 08:04 AM
    Dar, I actually support doing that, watch the video. It will leave an impact that our kids need to see. We were once young and did some pretty stupid stuff, but, todays kids have tools to further danger their lives. They need to take driving more seriously. When I read about this tradjedy, it only reinforces my resolve to speak to the issue. One small thing can end a precious life.
  • by kinston Location: kinston on Sep 22, 2009 at 06:55 AM
    This is for WildlifeBio; there have been many lives lost due to destractions while driving and yes cell phone use is one of them, but no matter what destraction causes an accident anytime a life is lost it is a tragedy. You apparently have no children that could possibly make a mistake and cost them theire life, and you most definitely appear to have no knowledge of GOD our heavenly father.
  • by WildlifeBio Location: Greenville on Sep 21, 2009 at 04:00 PM
    If this is the case, then I have no pity or remorse for this girl. She relinquished herself a chance at life and better yet, put someone else in danger, due to her negligence. It's about time they banned 'texting while driving' in NC, it's peeving enough to see people driving and yammerin' away on a cell phone oblivious to their surroundings, but attempting to TEXT while trying to focus and be aware while on the road, is just incomprehensible.
  • by keisha Location: kinston on Sep 21, 2009 at 10:39 AM
    I would just like to know exactly how this no texting law will work.I mean just for instance if i am driving down the road and i start to dial a # or perhaps just answer a call and a officer see me and pull me over how can he/she prove on the spot I was texting.People do open a phone for other reasons than to text.Will they be allowed to take your phone and go through it to see if you sent or recieved a text at that time? If so than I think that will be an ivasion of privacy.The way things are going now I think in the future it will be a law against touching a phone while driving.
  • by Emily Location: Deep Run on Sep 20, 2009 at 10:21 AM
    I knew Stephanie and if she had known something was gonna happen that day, she would have never texted in the first place. Instead of placing blame on texting, we need to look at all the other things we do while driving. Eating, looking at the new house being built, something in a ditch, getting a child's toy that dropped, the list goes on and on. It all comes down to the fact that we need to be more careful about what we do when we are behind the wheel of a car. We are all guilty of doing something that would take our eyes off the road. Everyone needs to be aware of what taking your eyes of the road can lead to. There is no fine big enough to bring back a person who has died. The death alone should be reason enough to stop, but I know habits are hard to break. That is why it is important to let our loved ones know of the dangers of getting behind the wheel. We need to educate and not critize, and love one another as if there will be no tomorrow. Miss and love u Steph!
  • by Labbrat Location: Greenville on Sep 19, 2009 at 06:03 AM
    They need to do more than a $100 fine for texting while driving! I don't know how many near misses I've had with cars only to see that they are looking down at a cell phone when I go by them. I'll see someone in front of me and think they must be drunk with all the swerving they are doing and when I go around they have a damn phone in there hand!
  • by Marie Location: Kinston on Sep 18, 2009 at 05:31 PM
    I just left the family of Stephanie. So sad. Tomorrow will be a tough day for everyone. Hopefully time and prayer will help heal their grieving hearts. The heavens are rejoicing at receiving such a sweet and beautiful angel. We love you Stephanie and we will surely miss you forever.
  • by kinston Location: kinston on Sep 18, 2009 at 01:45 PM
    For Obama Snake Oil, leave something alone and leave it alone. You don't know what happened only what they are saying.
  • by Dar Location: Washington on Sep 18, 2009 at 01:43 PM
    OSOC, to the ones in this forum or any other forums thinks this video is outlandish, then they should try the real deal, go to the scene of a crash where texting was the culprit. Their protest against the video is a cop-out. If it would happen to their family their attitude would change fast.
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