SUV hits tree

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From staff reports

A Chapel Hill woman was still in the trauma unit on Monday afternoon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she was taken by helicopter ambulance early Friday morning from the scene of a one-car crash.

Charity Ann Ring, 25, of Chapel Hill, was in stable condition, according to Vanderbilt spokeswoman Ashley Culver who reported one of three passengers of the 2000 Ford Expedition that Ring was driving remained in the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

Ashton Marshall, 8, was in stable condition, Culver said. Her brother, Landon Marshall, 6, was discharged to his home on Saturday.

Ring's 10-month-old daughter, Lily Ring, was not injured during the crash, according to Dalya J. Qualls, a spokeswoman for the Safety Department.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper James Crump was still taking crash scene measurements on Monday.

There's a three-foot-deep dent in the front of the Ford and the motor appears to have been pushed back "maybe two feet," Crump said.

Ring was driving the Ford SUV east on Old Highway 99 to drop the three children off to be with baby sitters, the trooper said.

The SUV crashed into a tree between Thick and Smiley roads, he said.

Crump was dispatched at 5:56 a.m. Friday.

"The infant was totally unharmed," Crump said. "She didn't even have to go to the hospital. As best I can tell, the infant was the only one who was wearing his seat belt. One of her brothers may have been wearing his belt.

"I have yet to be able to speak with her," the trooper said. He had spoken with her husband, Kevin.

Ring and the two boys were flown by helicopter ambulance to the Vanderbilt hospitals.

No charges had been filed, nor were they anticipated, the state safety department spokeswoman said. The SUV left road on the right side and hit a tree head-on. Speed may have been a factor. The vehicle was entering a curve.

"I know she left the road," Crump said. "I just don't know why."