Woman dies in Sylva, deputies investigate DWI suspect

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SYLVA, NC (WSPA) – Investigators are looking into the circumstances that lead to a woman’s death and how it may relate to a man charged with DWI, according to the Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive woman on June 19 around 9 a.m.on Winesap Dr. in Sylva.

First responders we’re giving CPR to a woman found in the roadway when they got there.

CPR was unsuccessful and she died.

She has been identified as 39-year-old Brianne Jai Abbitt.

Deputies say Jess Harvey Cagle, 45, was impaired and driving a vehicle.

Cagle and Abbitt were in a relationship and they were in Cagle’s vehicle just prior to the 911 call, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators say they are looking into the circumstances which lead to Abbitt’s death as it relates to Cagle and the operation of his vehicle.

Cagle was arrested and charged with DWI, according to the report.

An autopsy is being performed June 20 to determine the woman’s cause of death. 

We will update this article when more information is available.

The sheriff’s office says they are working with the NC State Bureau of Investigation and the Highway Patrol on the case.

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