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Posted on Fri, May 24, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

Police release name of woman killed in Scio Township crash

By John Counts


Daarina Mara Tuggle, a 28-year-old Belleville woman, died in a crash at Zeeb and Liberty roads in Scio Township Wednesday.

Courtney Sacco |

Police have released the name of the 28-year-old woman who died in a car crash in Scio Township Wednesday.

The woman has been identified as Daarina Mara Tuggle, of Belleville, said Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office. Tuggle was traveling south on South Zeeb Road at the intersection with West Liberty when she drove across the centerline and her 2011 Chevy Impala collided with a gravel hauler about 2:10 p.m., authorities said.

Tim Choate, the 46-year-old Pinckney man driving the hauler, told he was attempting to accelerate through the intersection from his stop when he saw the car approaching at a high rate of speed in his lane attempting to pass other vehicles, so he brought the truck to a halt.

“She (was) not slowing down," he said. "She (was) not stopping.”

Choate said the car hit his stopped truck on the driver's side, then spun and came to a rest off the side of Zeeb Road.

Police did not want to comment on any details pertaining to the crash Friday beyond saying the crash remains under investigation, Fox said.

On Thursday, sheriff's office spokesman Derrick Jackson said that speed was likely a factor in the accident. The speed limit on Zeeb Road at that location is not posted, so is 55 mph by default, according to the Washtenaw County Road Commission.

Jackson also said Tuggle was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

What to do in a stuck throttle situation. I personally have never been in this situation, but know someone who was. My first instinct would be to hit the brakes. After that fails, the next instinct would be to turn the ignition off. If all else fails, I'm throwing the car in neutral and possibly letting the engine blow. Much better to have a dead engine than to be dead.


Sun, Jun 30, 2013 : 2:19 a.m.

I don't think he was attempting to save the car/engine at the time, I truly believe it was all out of fear that he didn't think to throw the car in neutral earlier than he did. Its easy for us to have action plans when we aren't facing an issue. The car was brand new, we were pretty young as well and he was heading home after working a late second shift, just not a "clear headed" moment I'm sure. I presume I would have thrown it in Park and killed the engine or thrown it in neutral or turned it off.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Has there been anymore news on this? I'm very curious about the vehicle potentially malfunction. I had purchased a 1999 Oldsmobile and one morning my friend was driving home and the throttle got stuck open when the cruise control was engaged and wouldn't disengage. My friend driving at the time panicked and went repeatedly tried to stop the vehicle while passing through a busy intersection and manuvering turns at high speeds. He wound up able to turn into a parking lot where he finally put the car in neutral and was able to stop it. I was not in the vehicle at the time but could only imagine the fear. And in a fearful situation its not always our first thought to problem solve and think of things like putting the car into neutral. This is just a sad story and I was wondering if there was any concluding evidence as to what happened ot this young lady?


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

Whole Dude - Whole Prevention: I do hope that most of us understand the implications of road accidents, injuries, and deaths. I read these stories for my own benefit. I do have concern for the well-being of all the members of our community and fellow human beings. Still, there is a primary concern about my own safety. As a motorist, I have no choice other than that of sharing roads with other motorists. The truck hauler is very fortunate and he has escaped serious injury. I want to read the story as if I was a witness to this accident replacing Tim Choate. I would not be alive to share this comment and if I am lucky, I would be in a hospital cursing that good fortune. Our private lives become valid public concerns when we infringe upon the rights entitled to others. The costs of motor vehicle insurance are increasing every year. It is not my driving record, or insurance claims that is forcing me to pay a higher premium. I made no insurance claims in the last two decades, and had paid no tickets. The part of insurance bill called statutory assessments is increasing every year. Carrying motor vehicle insurance is not a matter of personal choice. It involves participation in a group plan and the rate is determined by the performance history of the group. Apart from these considerations, every time an accident is reported, I have a duty to remind people of my community to reflect upon measures to prevent accidents.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

Such a tragic situation, and the second fatality near Zeeb Road in a short period of time. However, I'm not sure I understand the notion that the driver may have been unfamiliar with the area. To me, this seems irrelevant. There are plenty of out-of-town drivers on area roads every day that manage to keep from crashing. Isn't the whole idea of obtaining a license and operating a motor vehicle that you have proven your ability to drive in any town/city/etc? Not bashing any particular driver, just saying that I fail to see how not being familiar with the area (particularly a straight section of road) would result in this type of crash.


Sun, May 26, 2013 : 2:04 a.m.

Ann, Not once do you mention the BIG, RED, STOP, sign. My comments defending the unfortunate driver have been deleted.

Ann English

Sun, May 26, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

I took that intersection nice and slow two days ago, and another driver also stopped at the stop sign on Liberty I couldn't see from northbound Zeeb. You say "unfamiliar with the area"; wow, has it changed, with a new church on the north side of Scio Church Road, the Emerson School expansion on Scio Church Road, and the Zippy's Auto Wash up and running on Zeeb. Many new businesses on Jackson besides those that simply moved to it; it's enough to make anyone who doesn't regularly drive in that area "unfamiliar with the changes"; and more development to come to Jackson Boulevard west of Zeeb. Those changes made me slow down. But I see your point about a straight section of road; it isn't as if Zeeb were a boulevard or parkway, with intermittent left-turn islands in the middle of the road, where people often have to drive beyond their destinations a little.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

I proceeded southbound from my stop at the intersection as the truck was proceeding north from his stop. About 300 feet beyond the intersection, I heard the impact through my closed windows. I looked back in my side mirror and saw the dust cloud where her car landed. Whether unfamiliarity with the area and intersection, or mechanical or medical issue, it was a horrific incident. My prayers go out to Ms. Tuggle's family & friends, and those witnesses who now have that memory, especially Mr. Choate.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

No seat belt and speeding- no a good combination. When will people learn to SLOW DOWN! Life is to short as we have seen. Thoughts and prayers to her family.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 7:55 p.m.

There just seems to be something missing. The car was new to her and maybe she inadvertently accelerated. Her passing of the other cars may have been a result of something mechanical or operator error rather than recklessness. Either way, it is tragic.

Ann English

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 11:59 p.m.

jns131, I thought about the possibility of a stuck accelerator too; once, we took a loaner Cadillac while the car was in the body shop, and it had a stuck accelerator. Could Ms. Tuggle have been distracted by some feature in the Impala that activated seconds before the crash? I know I was surprised by my own Chevy's chime the first time it went off because I had a turn signal on too long for its liking. I remember the people flashing their headlights at me during the early days of driving a Saturn because they thought my running lights were too bright; that sort of thing could distract a new or used car owner into trying to turn off something that can't be turned off, because it's a normal feature. Some chime or other sound could distract a driver to studying the dashboard of an unfamiliar car. I sure hope Ms. Tuggle's Impala didn't have bald tires, so that their traction was bad; I've purchased two such cars (one was a Nissan) myself, and found out right away that they needed new tires from my own mechanics, preventing such accidents.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

That reminds of a Toyota recall years ago where upon the accelerator would stick. At first NTSB thought nothing of it until it came out years later as a recall. Stranger then fiction. What a nightmare.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

I don't think it's disrespectful to postulate about the physical situation that led to this crash. As long as no one is talking about the condition or intent of the driver herself, why can't we discuss this incident? Besides, it's pretty darn clear what happened after hearing the truck driver's account. Did he really omit the word "was" from each of his short sentences?

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

because your on the most boring comments on the internet.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

If you changed the words it is no longer a "quote", it then becomes the telephone game

John Counts

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

The way he told it to me was in the present tense, "She's not slowing down. She's not stopping." It made more sense to change it to the past tense.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Another reminder similar to the one on our update from yesterday, out of respect to those who knew Daarina please avoid any speculation as to the cause of the accident. Thank you.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

I have to agree with Steven Taylor. I was dismayed to read the headline of the article on this topic the other day, "Speed may have been a factor..." By definition, then, speed may not have been a factor. Wasn't the whole premise of that article speculation?

Ann English

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

Steven Taylor, You're right; I had thought from previous updates, that we could be positive that neither driver was passing or attempting to pass other vehicles; but one was, after all. If our vehicles are small enough to do it, we should pull off to the right if there' s an oncoming car in our lane; I can see why a gravel hauler can't do that.

Steven Taylor

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

If you don't approve of wild speculation, withhold publishing articles until the investigation is complete and then you wouldn't have to sit there and go "Out of respect for the decedent" we don't like wild speculation, while we publish an article with speculation, even going so far as to say "The cops aren't going to disclose findings yet" then you just kinda look... Well, ya know... Dumb.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

"The speed limit on Zeeb Road at that location is not posted, so is 55 mph by default, according to the Washtenaw County Road Commission." "Tuggle was traveling south on South Zeeb Road at the intersection with West Liberty" Is it fair to say that at some stage of a 4 way stop the speed limit is essentially 0?


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

My intent yesterday with my comment was to learn a bit more in order to impart wisdom upon my twin 16 year-old nieces who just started to drive. My intention was not to speak ill of the dead and I don't believe my comment did so, but "Insensitivity to victims of accidents or crimes" can be interpreted in a many of ways I have enough Italian/Catholic guilt in my life - I don't need to have more thrown on the pile by with a sweeping comment that makes it seem as if I said something heinous about Daarina.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

A2cents, then go speculate somewhere else. What's so hard about avoiding speculation right now? Wait for the police report to come out and then you will have an answer.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, the motoring public would like to understand more about this incident.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5 p.m.

Prayers out to family and friends for their loss. "Tim Choate, the 46-year-old Pinckney man driving the hauler, told he was attempting to accelerate through the intersection from his stop when he saw the car approaching at a high rate of speed in his lane attempting to pass other vehicles," It is a 4 way stop there, perhaps she was not aware of that as she approached. Ironically as one does a Google street view south bound there is a tandum truck coming north.

Matt Cooper

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Being that I used to live near there, I know that intersection well. It is not a particularly dangerous one, and there are stop signs at all four points on the intersection. Also, at that time of day there will usually be a line of cars on any one or two of the lanes waiting to make a turn, so how one could not know it's a four-way stop I don't know. Prayers to her family, friends and loved ones. Please all drive carefully at all times.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

Your seat belt. The cheapest life-insurance policy you already paid for (when you bought/leased your vehicle).

Stan Hyne

Sun, May 26, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

And it is free to put on