Woman charged with felony in deadly Sultan hit-and-run

  • Thu Feb 11th, 2010 10:46pm
  • News

By Diana Hefley Herald Writer

SULTAN — Paula Stierns spent the day fishing the Skykomish River with her husband.

Stierns, 47, never made it back to the travel trailer she called home.

Stierns was struck and killed Oct. 9 as she walking in the road outside of Sultan. Witnesses told police that the driver never stopped.

Prosecutors on Thursday charged Teresa Ort with hitting Stierns and fleeing from the scene, a felony.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Al Baker identified the vehicle that struck Stierns from pieces of a broken plastic fender liner that were found under Stierns clothes, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow wrote.

Baker was able to match the broken pieces to Ort’s Suzuki Vitara, according to charging papers.

Ort allegedly told Baker that she thought that she had hit some garbage that fell from a truck in front of her, court papers said. She said she learned that police were investigating a hit-and-run death, but she didn’t step forward because she was afraid to go to jail, Darrow wrote.

Ort, 46, told police she hadn’t been drinking the night of the accident.

Stierns died from injuries to her brain and neck.

About 40 people gathered in Sultan to remember Stierns shortly after her death. They said Stierns was a generous and kind woman who was always willing to share whatever she had with others.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.