Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Teen accused of crashing car while huffing


Saturday, October 6, 2007


Police say mom tried to remove evidence against daughter


The mother of a Spartanburg teenager accused of huffing compressed air before crashing a friend's car Sunday has joined her daughter in jail.
Kelly Hewitt Furr (left), 39, of 240 S. Main St., Clifton, was charged with accessory after the fact to a felony Friday on allegations she removed the cans of air from the car in an attempt to hide evidence. Three passengers injured in the wreck remained hospitalized Friday, one of whom has yet to regain consciousness.
Furr's daughter, Heather Brooke Hewitt, 19, of 1451 Old Pacolet Road is being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Facility with bond set at $25,000 on two counts of felony driving under the influence. Furr's bond was set at $40,000.
According to prosecutors, Hewitt was huffing the canned air to get high - also known as dusting - when she crashed a 1997 Toyota Camry into a truck Sunday afternoon on Beacon Light Road near Cowpens. Her mother came to the scene of the crash and removed several cans from the vehicle, Principal Deputy Solicitor Barry Barnette said during a Friday bond hearing for Furr.
"She said, 'I know she's been dusting! I know she's been dusting!' " Barnette said. " ... She knew what was in the car, and she took care of it."
Witnesses said Furr also showed little concern for those injured in the crash and refused to ride in the ambulance with her daughter to the hospital, Barnette said.
Furr puzzled by charge
Furr said little during the hearing but told the judge she didn't understand the charge against her.
"That's what upsets me," she said.
One of Hewitt's five passengers, Jamie Maxwell, 23, of Roebuck suffered closed head injuries and remains unconscious at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Maranda Poteet, 17, of Inman suffered severe facial injuries, is blind in the left eye and is listed in serious condition at the hospital. A third passenger, Kelly Collins, 21, of Roebuck is in fair condition at Spartanburg Regional, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Hewitt was released from the hospital Thursday and taken to jail. If released on bond, she is to remain on home detention. Conditions of Furr's bond include no contact with any witness or victim in the crash, including her daughter, if released.
Barnette said Hewitt had a past conviction for disturbing schools, and State Law Enforcement Division records show Furr has a previous conviction for criminal domestic violence.
Inhaling compressed air, which is sold to clean computer keyboards and electronics and used by some teens as a quick high, contains chemicals that can cause organ damage and death through suffocation.

By Rachel E. Leonard
taken from the Spartanburg Herald Journal