A Pinal County woman is dead after falling from a moving car Wednesday night. Police suspect she was drunk, and her husband probably will be charged with impaired driving.
About 9 p.m. Wednesday, 57-year-old Tommie Joe Holliday called 9-1-1 and immediately hung up. The operator called him back, and he said wife, 45-year-old Stephanie Lynn Holliday, had fallen out of his van as he was driving near Sunland Gin Road and West Aries Drive in Eloy.
Police responded to the scene and found Tommie Joe performing CPR on his injured wife.
However, Stephanie had suffered massive head trauma and other injuries. She later died at the Maricopa Medical Center.
Tommie Joe later told police that he and Stephanie had been drinking at a friend's house. They were driving home when she fell out of the van.
He told police that he was concentrating on driving and didn't see if Stephanie had opened the door and jumped, or somehow the door accidently came open and she fell out.
He said the two weren't arguing or fighting when she fell out.
Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Gaffney tells New Times there's nothing at this point to suggest Tommie Joe pushed his wife from the van.
"None of her injuries nor evidence in the vehicle indicate she was involved in a physical struggle in the vehicle prior to falling out," Gaffney says. "The autopsy will help us determine what happened and also when we determine what her blood alcohol concentration was. We will also be talking with the friends they were drinking with to see if they had been arguing earlier about any issues."
While it seems Joe didn't push his wife, deputies at the scene felt he was drunk at the time of the incident, and he refused a field-obriety test.
Gaffney says a blood sample was obtained and will be sent to the Arizona Department of Public Safety to determine his blood-alcohol concentration. Pending the results, he probably will becharged with impaired driving.
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