WALTERBORO, SC (May 25, 2017) – A Colleton County woman who admitted to drinking before driving and whose passenger died in a 2016 collision on Interstate 95 has been sentenced to prison.
Carolyn Ann Hippenstiel, 26, of Round O, pleaded guilty Monday to reckless homicide. She was sentenced to 10 years upon service of five years, suspended to three years of probation.
On Feb. 19, 2016, Hippenstiel was driving north on I-95 when she lost control of the 1997 Jeep Cherokee she was driving in an attempt to avoid slowing traffic. The SUV went off the left side of the roadway near mile marker 49 and crashed into a tree. Her passenger, John George Walling, Sr., 54, of Walterboro, died at the scene.
Additionally, Hippenstiel pleaded guilty Monday to grand larceny in connection to an unrelated Jan. 8, 2016 incident. In that case, Hippenstiel drove off in a 2007 Chrysler 300 without the owner’s permission, leaving the man on the side of Burr Hill Road in Cottageville.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
Assistant Solicitor Steven Knight was the case’s prosecutor.
The sentence was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Perry M. Buckner.