Drunk driving is serious business. When a crash occurs due to the driver's intoxication, it can become life-changing for those involved. A young Tennessee man is quickly finding out the consequences he may face after an alleged drunk driving crash that happened the year he reached legal drinking age.
In December 2013, the 21-year-old man was driving a Chevy pickup truck that also was occupied by a 38-year-old man and a 22-year-old man and his mother. As the truck was traversing the Lewallen bridge, it attempted to pass a slower car, but the driver lost control of the truck. The pickup spun, crossed the center line of the road and hit an oncoming Honda Civic. The Civic subsequently hit a Chevy SUV.
All three occupants of the Honda Civic were injured and transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. The 40-year-old woman who was a passenger in the pickup truck was ejected through the rear window and died as a result of her injuries.
The young man driving the truck allegedly threw a bottle of liquor off the bridge after the incident. He also admitted the next day that he had consumed 48 ounces of beer and a mixed drink shortly before the crash.
The pickup truck driver was indicted on several charges, including vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, speeding, reckless driving and tampering with evidence. He was released on a $150,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 1.
This young man faces serious consequences if he is found guilty of the crimes for which he is charged, but vehicular homicide cases are not always as clear-cut as they seem. The prosecutor still must prove in court that it was the driver's intoxication that was the ultimate cause of the accident in order for him to be found guilty of the crime.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Indictments: Man drunk, high on pot in wreck where one killed, four injured," July 8, 2014
The Oak Ridger, “Woman killed in crash, driver charged with DUI,” Beverly Majors, Dec. 11, 2013