WINCHESTER — The second driver in an alleged street race that cost a 17-year-old Frederick County girl her life last month is being held without bond at the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center.

Christopher Troy Colter, 26, of the 4300 block of Senseny Road in Berryville, was taken into custody Monday, court records indicate.

Colter appeared Tuesday morning via a video feed from the jail during a brief hearing to determine if he needed an attorney. He told Frederick County Circuit Court Judge William Warner Eldridge IV that he earns $50,000 to $60,000 a year and owns a Jeep and Mercedes with a combined value of about $60,000, but Eldridge designated him as temporarily indigent because he has no income while in custody.

Eldridge appointed Winchester defense attorney Gregory Bowman to represent Colter at a bond hearing scheduled for Thursday morning in Frederick County Circuit Court. At that time, the court is expected to determine if Colter has the means to hire a lawyer or if a trial attorney should be appointed at no cost to the defendant.

According to court documents, Colter is accused of participating in an illegal street race on Aug. 7 with Nicholas Isaiah Ehrhardt, 21, of the 2200 block of Papermill Road in Frederick County. The alleged race in the eastbound lanes of Berryville Pike (Va. 7) ended when Ehrhardt reportedly lost control of his Ford hatchback, spun 180 degrees in the roadway and collided with a fence and metal pole at 2807 Berryville Pike east of Winchester.

Ehrhardt's 17-year-old sister, Sarah Michelle Ehrhardt, was a passenger in the rear of her brother's hatchback. According to police reports, she died when the Ford split apart, with the rear half coming to rest about 30 yards from the front half. Nicholas Ehrhardt and an unidentified front-seat passenger did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

The two reported drivers in the incident were indicted Sept. 9 by a Frederick County Circuit Court grand jury. Nicholas Ehrhardt was taken into custody that day on a felony charge of reckless driving due to racing that resulted in death and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving. Colter was arrested Monday on felony charges of reckless driving due to racing that resulted in death and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

If convicted, Nicholas Ehrhardt faces up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. Colter could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and fined $2,500.

According to court records, Nicholas Ehrhardt has not been found guilty of any prior criminal or traffic offenses. Colter, however, was fined $300 on Dec. 17, 2019, in Frederick County General District Court for driving 98 mph on Interstate 81, which has a speed limit of 70 mph.

Sarah Ehrhardt's obituary states she was a rising senior at Eukarya Christian Academy in Stephens City and a Winchester Church of God parishioner who "loved spending time writing stories, snuggling with her dogs and laughing with her friends and family."

— Contact Brian Brehm at bbrehm@winchesterstar.com

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