Driver's sister talks about Stamm accident

Cara Hulett's phone rang a little after 10 p.m. on Sept. 25. On the other end, her 27-year-old brother Chris Hulett told her that he had just been in a bad accident.

Less than two hours earlier, Hulett told his sister, on his way through the intersection at 6th Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, he struck 16-year-old Heather Stamm and her boyfriend, 19-year-old Nathan Koontz. Hulett told his sister that he called 911 and then stayed with Heather, talking to her and reminding her not to move so she wouldn't further her injuries.

He took a blood test on the scene and then went home, Huntington Beach Police said.

"He hadn't known that Heather had died," Cara Hulett, 25, said Tuesday. "My mom and I found out by reading the paper the next day."

The morning after the accident, Cara drove down Pacific Coast Highway from her home in Long Beach to her brother's house in Newport Beach.

On the way, she passed through the 6th Street intersection.

"I saw the kids were hanging up the sign on a fence," Cara Hulett said. "Some guy with a surfboard ran right out in front of me [in the street]. It freaked me out."

Police have seen both pedestrians and motorists are showing much less caution on the road.

"Last year, we had 11 [fatal traffic accidents] in the city and five were pedestrians," accident investigator Officer Robert Barr said. "I see people just walking across the street without looking. They seem to think the crosswalk is immune from anyone going through."

Tuesday afternoon, Barr spoke with a third witness to the accident, and he still has more to contact. One possible witness police are attempting to track down contacted Nathan Koontz via his MySpace account, a week after the accident.

The person, identified only as Erin, claimed to have been in one of the vehicles at the front of the intersection. Erin found Koontz's name in a newspaper article and searched it out on the Web.

"You need anything, you let me know!" Erin wrote. "You have no idea who I am but I hope you can find a sense of comfort knowing that I am here for you. I am so sorry for what happened to you. No one deserves anything like this."

Koontz responded to the message with technical help from police. Police said they know the message was read about 30 minutes after it was sent out, but no response has been sent back.

The Koontzes are hoping the person who sent the message, who expressed such sympathy for Nathan, will come forward and help with the investigation.

Last week, the Huletts sent out a statement expressing their sorrow for the families involved in the accident and the Huntington Beach community. It's not about telling Chris' side of the story but to let the families know, "how incredibly sorry we feel for them," the Huletts stated.

"As parents, my brother and I can sympathize with the shock and pain that Heather and Nathan's families are feeling, but we cannot even begin to imagine what it feels like to lose a child," Cara Hulett wrote in the e-mail. "We want the Stamm family … to know that we are praying that they will be able to heal."

But Cara's main concern is her brother.

"The first week, all I could think about was I was so worried about what those families think about my brother," Hulett said. "I don't want anyone to be mad at him."

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