Woman ordered to trial on charges stemming from deadly Stockdale Highway crash

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The case against a woman accused of fleeing the scene of a deadly crash on Stockdale Highway can proceed to trial, a judge ruled Friday.

Stephanie Heninger is next due in court Nov. 22, when a date will be set for a trial on charges of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, hit and run resulting in injury and hit and run resulting in death or permanent serious injury.

A Superior Court judge found there was enough evidence presented during a preliminary hearing for the case to proceed.

On the afternoon of July 22, 2020, a gray Nissan Sentra clipped another vehicle while changing lanes on Stockdale Highway near Don Hart Drive East, according to police reports. The crash set off a chain of events that ultimately involved four vehicles.

Deborah Ann Geneau, 65, was killed.

Photo: Geneau family photo / GoFundMe

The Sentra, caught on surveillance video, left the scene.

A distinctive white decal on the car’s windshield helped lead investigators to Heninger months later, police said. She at first denied involvement, but eventually admitted to driving the Sentra and fleeing the scene, according to the reports.

Heninger told investigators she had no idea police were looking for her. She didn’t check on the condition of anyone involved in the crash, according to her statement contained in the reports.

The car had been repossessed in March and transported to Los Angeles to be sold at auction. The reports said investigators examined the vehicle and found it had a decal matching the one seen in the surveillance video and damage consistent with what it would have sustained in the crash.

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