Arrest made in car crash death case 10/21/2014

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Arrest made in car crash death case

By Rupert Howell
Three affidavits filed in Panola County Justice Court Monday, October 13 by a Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) investigator led to the arrest of an 18-year-old who was the driver in a one-car crash that left one dead and caused serious injuries to at least two passengers in August of last year east of Como.

Elane Westfaul, 18, was arrested in Lowdnes County where she is a student and later transferred to Panola County where she was allowed “quick release” after posting bond of $18,000 according to news reports. A spokesperson at the jail told The Panolian’s reporter that Westfaul’s case would be handled through juvenile court. All of the car’s occupants were under 18 at the time of accident according to published reports.

Affidavits filed include one for DUI death and two for DUI serious injury according to the Panola County Justice Court office.

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District Attorney John Champion said in a telephone interview Monday he was very familiar with the incident but would not discuss specifics offering  “No comment,” to questions concerning litigation.

Champion would say, however, that a conflict existed between Implied Consent and Youth Court laws that now made the question one of jurisdiction.

Investigating State Trooper Joseph Miller said following the accident that the five were traveling south in a 2004 Toyota Sequoia that went through the T-intersection at Highway 310 about 11:30 p.m. and crashed into the embankment on the south side of Highway 310. Bial was a passenger in the rear seat,

The affidavits were filed 14 months after the accident and signed by Justice Court Judge Mike Wilson.

The accident took the life of Oxford High School senior Sarah Bial and seriously injured two others.