Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Montgomery County newborn's death may spur more charges

A search warrant says a Christiansburg woman said she had been drinking before a crash that led to the emergency delivery of her baby, who died days later.

Harmony Faith Stair, shown here in a 2006 photo from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Harmony Faith Stair, shown here in a 2006 photo from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

A woman being investigated by Blacksburg police admitted to drinking before a vehicle crash that caused the death of her then unborn baby, according to a search warrant filed in Roanoke on Thursday.

Police are continuing to contemplate more serious charges against the woman, identified as Harmony Faith Stair of Montgomery County, according to the warrant. The warrant cites "DUI manslaughter" in relation to the reasons for the search.

According to the search warrant, alcohol was also present in the vehicle after the crash.

The crash occurred Dec. 18 at the intersection of North Main Street and U.S. 460 in Blacksburg, and according to police involved a pregnant driver who was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where her child was surgically delivered and died two days later. A medical examiner's review determined that the baby, identified in the warrant as Caiden Mathew Stair, died of injuries from the crash.

The driver, identified as Harmony Stair in the warrant, entered a roadway without yielding the right of way to other traffic.

Police then served the warrant this month for access to all of her hospital records from the crash, including those pertaining to tests that would reveal the use of drugs and alcohol. Blacksburg police released a statement Friday saying that an investigation is open to determine "if a criminal act contributed to the death of the child."

Stair, 31, was convicted of a DUI in 2007 in Montgomery County, her first offense, and sentenced to a year of supervised probation, according to court records.

Blacksburg police Lt. Steve Taylor said Stair has been charged with reckless driving and failure to stop before entering a highway in last month's crash. Online search records show that Stair lives in Christiansburg and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 9.

No other information was immediately available Monday about the case, including Stair's current condition.

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