Woman charged in crash that killed Guard member from Garfield makes first court appearance
Tabitha Sue Sigler was charged with vehicular homicide stemming from an incident that left a Garfield man dead last May.
PINE COUNTY — The woman charged with vehicular homicide stemming from an incident that left a Garfield man dead made her first court appearance on Monday, Jan. 10.
Tabitha Sue Sigler was tearful at times during the hearing, which took place over Zoom under the jurisdiction of Pine County District Court.
Sigler is charged with criminal vehicular homicide — operating a vehicle with any amount of a Schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance — after an incident that killed Dave Greiner of Garfield. Greiner was a long-time member of the Minnesota Air National Guard and was on his way to one of his last drill weekends in Duluth on Friday, May 14, 2021.
Sigler was charged last November. She did not make a plea at Monday's hearing, which she appeared to attend from her home.
Sigler must either post a $20,000 bail or bond with no conditions, or follow the conditions of release and pay nothing.
Some of the conditions Sigler must follow are that she must not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance, have no new offenses, have no alcohol/controlled substance use with the exception of prescribed medications and be subject to random testing at the request of any law enforcement officer or probation officer.
According to the statement of probable cause, Sigler was driving a Mitsubishi Endeavor south on U.S. Interstate 35 near mile marker 182 in Pine County when she lost control of the SUV.
The statement reads that Sgt. Aaron Churness of the Minnesota State Patrol was brought in to determine what happened during the crash. Churness is a fully-accredited traffic accident reconstructionist.
The statement reads that Churness determined Sigler had been driving the Mitsubishi in the right southbound lane when she traveled over the centerline into the left southbound lane and into the median. Churness observed distinct rolling tire marks from all four wheels, which indicated that Sigler failed to brake or steer as the vehicle struck an embankment in the median.
The vehicle went airborne at 60 miles per hour, landing in the left northbound shoulder, the statement reads. The physical evidence in the roadway showed that the vehicle then started rolling after its first contact with the gravel.
At the same time, the Kia being driven by Greiner was traveling northbound at 59-70 miles per hour, the statement reads. Physical evidence showed that he saw Sigler's vehicle coming toward him, at which time he fully applied the brakes and steered to the right shoulder to avoid being hit by Sigler's vehicle.
The front left tire of the Mitsubishi then struck Greiner's door seam and the left corner of the Mitsubishi came down on the hood and roof of Greiner's vehicle, the statement reads.
The Mitsubishi rolled over Greiner's vehicle and came to rest on the right shoulder of the northbound lane, the statement reads. After impact, Greiner's vehicle continued through the right ditch up to the tree line, where it rolled to a stop, the statement reads. There was no evidence of braking or steering by Greiner after impact, indicating he suffered fatal injuries when he was hit by the Mitsubishi.
A blood sample obtained from Sigler contained THC and its metabolites, amphetamine and methamphetamine, the statement reads.
Sigler was previously convicted of felony fifth degree possession of a controlled substance in January 2021.
Sigler makes her next court appearance for a Rule 8 hearing on March 15.