Suwanee teen charged with vehicular homicide

Mackenzie Lauren Stephenson

Mackenzie Lauren Stephenson

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Suwanee teen is facing vehicular homicide charges after she reportedly caused a crash that claimed the life of a 70-year-old driver.

Mackenzie Lauren Stephenson, 17, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor, and failure to obey a yield sign. She was released on $7,000 bond.

According to a Gwinnett County police report from the Nov. 20 incident, Stephenson was waiting on Old Cumming Road in Sugar Hill to turn left onto Ga. Highway 20. She told police that an eastbound driver stopped to let her pull out.

"(Stephenson) stated she looked left and did not see any vehicles so she pulled out onto (Ga. Highway 20)," the report said.

As Stephenson's Ford F-150 pickup truck pulled into the road, the sporty Acura RSX driven by 70-year-old Sugar Hill man Charles Fairchild continued westbound. Fairchild, reportedly driving about 45 mph, slammed into the driver's side wheel area of the truck, police said.

"(Stephenson) stated that she did not see (Fairchild) approaching and admitted fault for the accident," police said.

No other passengers were in either vehicle.


smshirk 2 years, 7 months ago

What is the point of charging this 17 year old with vehicular homicide. This was a traffic accident. Accidents happen sometimes and there is always someone at fault. Are the cops or the DAs that desperate for convictions?


ac 2 years, 7 months ago

smshirk do you suggest they only charge a certain age, race or sex if they kill someone? Or perhaps the officers should have just told her to drive more careful next time. What a ridiculous comment. Someone lost their life! Others lost their grandfather, father, uncle, brother...God forbid anything happen to one of your loved ones but if it happened to you, I guarantee you would be the first one to wish the person at fault to rot in jail. Everyone must be held responsible for their actions regardless of their age. Don't worry though, due to all the others like you that believe they should not be held responsible, the jails are over crowded and princess will be put on probation.


JustAnotherCitizen 2 years, 7 months ago

Society seems unwilling to accept the fact that accidents happen. This was a horrible accident. A life was claimed. But it was an accident, and this young lady will never forget it.

Remember when Laura Bush (then Laura Welch) ran a stop sign that resulted in a fatal car accident that killed her friend in another car? She was never charged. It was an accident.


ac 2 years, 7 months ago

Excellent point! However, a few things to point out about that accident. It occurred 50 years ago! Times have changed a little since then. Traffic fatalities have gone down and population went up. The release of the accident report took an act of God and even after it was released there were many unanswered questions. Besides, there was no such law then. I believe it did not start until the 70s. Also, keep in mind vehicular homicide 2nd degree is a misdemeanor. Vehicular homicide in the 1st clearly does not fit for this particular accident. So if she was DUI, they should not have charged her? That too is a misdemeanor.


rextim 2 years, 7 months ago

This was a traffic crash, not an accident. This person approached an intersection with a posted yield sign and did not abide by the sign. I see it every day. Drivers are often incredibly selfish and don't want to take the time to ensure theirs and everyone elses safety.

Bottom line is this: if your violation of traffic law results in the death of another, you get charged accordingly. The appropriate charge in her case is vehicular homicide 2nd degree (a misdemeanor). She'll get her year of probation for it and move on with life. I understand she is 17. She is still responsible for her actions as a driver. If you don't want that responsibility, don't get a license.


sporttrac30 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with rextim. If you dont want the responsibility then don't get a license. She did not abide by the sign and pulled out in front of someone, i see it all the time too. I see people come close to hitting me when i turn and they have a yeild sign. I know she feels bad about it, who wouldn't but she got the right charge for the crash that took a life. That is how the law works,you need to read up on it.. It makes for good reading sometimes.


qwerty 2 years, 7 months ago

rextim, how dare you be so naive! that is my best firned you're talking about! she did yield! it's stated right here in the article:

"(Stephenson) stated she looked left and did not see any vehicles so she pulled out onto (Ga. Highway 20)," the report said

she is not selfish and she is one of the most caring people i know. she is NOT "a princess." she is a senior in high school, an honor student with a perfectly clean record, and she takes care of her three younger syblings while her parents are both still at work. i should know! ive been best friends with her for six years and she lives just up the street from me.

this was not totally her fault. she stopped, looked both ways, and proceeded. she probably didnt see the other car coming because of the grade of the road. and the other driver should not have been doing 45 coming up the top of a hill. THAT was careless. the other driver passed away, yes. but he was 70 years old with a heart condition.

she will have to live with this for the rest of her life. this is not a girl who doesn't give a crap and will go on like nothing ever happened. so maybe you might consider finding better ways to spend your time than dragging young girls through the mud with your mouth.


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