Suspect In Deadly I-24W Hit-And-Run Held Without Bond

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Suspect In Deadly I-24W Hit-And-Run Held Without Bond

CREATED Apr 11, 2014

SMYRNA, Tenn. – The woman charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 13-year-old boy who was changing a flat tire has been denied bond. 

Tina Wilson, 33, was booked into the Rutherford County Jail Friday morning after investigators took out warrants for vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. She had previously been released overnight on bond. 

She was initially charged with failure to give immediate notification of a fatal crash and leaving the scene of an accident following Thursday's crash. A DUI charge that was filed against her was dropped, but Sgt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said blood samples were being tested.

The two additional charges were filed Friday morning. 

Troopers said around 1:40 p.m. Thursday, Wilson hit Clifton Braunwalder, 13, of Lascassas while he was changing a flat tire on the side of I-24 west in Smyrna. His mother Sondra Braunwalder, 47, and sister Louann, 12, were also standing by the car. 

Troopers said Wilson lost control of her car, swerved and hit Clifton along with his mother.

"What we have is a terrible incident, an awful incident," said Sgt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. "This could have been avoided, should have been avoided."

Officials said a good Samaritan helped investigators track down Wilson in Davidson County. She was arrested and booked in the Rutherford County jail. A passenger in her vehicle was not hurt and has not been charged in connection with the crash, according to investigators.

Sky 5 HD showed a white car pulled over on the right side of the interstate with its flashers on. There were skid marks veering away from the vehicle, which had a spare tire on its front driver's side and its emergency lights flashing.

Clifton and Sondra were transported to StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna where Clifton was pronounced dead. Sondra is out of the hospital and is said to have attended mass Friday morning. Louann was not hurt.

Wilson's vehicle was seized and will be analyzed at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's crime lab.

A Murfreesboro Police report from February 2013 showed Wilson was charged with reckless endangerment with a vehicle when she nearly struck her 6-year-old daughter during a domestic dispute. The case was later dismissed.

Friday, a prayer service was held to remember Clifton Braunwalder at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Murfreesboro.

The 13-year-old was home-schooled but was on the soccer team at the school.  

"He was just a great young man. Scouts, he was active in the church. He was an alter server. He was an athlete," said soccer coach John Hayes. "Unfortunately his teammate had  a game last night, soccer, and we told them he played hard and never took a game off and that's what he would want them to do." 

The Boy Scouts plan to honor Clifton by presenting his family with the Spirit of the Eagle Award that recognizes his work towards becoming an Eagle Scout.

"He died living the way Boy Scouts are supposed to live. Right in the middle of doing his good turn daily. Helping his mom right there, when she needed somebody to help change a tire," said Chuck Rutzky.

Funeral arrangement have not been finalized.

Clifton's death has prompted Metro police to re-issue safety rules when you're stuck on the side of the road.

-Move as far right as you can.
-Make sure flashers are on.
-Always assume drivers passing you ARE distracted .
-If needed, call for help on non-emergency line. For Tennessee Highway Patrol call *847.
  Metro Police non-emergency line is 862-8600.