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Indictment returned in fatal crash
2009 wreck on Clarks Bridge Road killed passenger
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A Hall County grand jury this week indicted a Gainesville woman on vehicular homicide charges in connection with a May 2009 fatal crash on Clarks Bridge Road.

Carol LeAnne Chapman, 34, faces charges of first-degree homicide by vehicle, DUI and reckless driving.

Authorities said Chapman was the driver of a Ford Explorer sports utility vehicle that crossed the center line, left the road and flipped several times on Clarks Bridge Road near Trinity Methodist Church on May 8, 2009.

Elisha Sue Smith, 26, of Clermont, was ejected from the SUV and died.

Chapman was not immediately charged following the crash, pending an investigation by the Georgia State Patrol that included blood toxicology tests.

According to the indictment, Chapman is accused of driving while under the influence of amphetamines, opiates and marijuana.

As of Wednesday, Chapman had not yet been booked into the Hall County jail. She is due in court for an arraignment on Oct. 7.

Also this week, the grand jury returned a murder indictment in the June 26 shooting death of 26-year-old Santamaria Avelar.

Valentin Garcia, 39, faces charges of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in connection with the shooting on Patterson Drive, which authorities said occurred after a fight at a house party.

Garcia remains jailed without bond.

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