The AJC reports that an Athens man has been charged with vehicular homicide but did not hit anyone.
29-year-old Johnny Todd Carruthers was arrested on Monday, October 11th just after 2:45 a.m.
Carruthers was driving southbound on U.S. 29 when he crashed his 2002 Acura as he turned onto the off-ramp to the Athens Perimeter. Carruthers told police that he swerved to avoid a deer and his car went off the roadway. The vehicle ended up coming to a rest in an embankment.
Carruthers’ passenger, 37-year-old Johnrico Deon Smith exited the vehicle and stepped into the roadway. He was then hit by a 2014 Dodge Charger being driven by a 30-year-old Athens woman. She told the police that she did not see Smith.
The driver of the Charger was not charged.
Police were able to determine that neither Carruthers nor Smith were buckled in. A Coors beer can was discovered near the driver’s door. Carruthers was believed to have been traveling at between 73 and 76 m.p.h. when the collision occurred.
Carruthers is facing charges of first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI, failure to maintain lane, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and open container. He was being held without bond.
Vehicular manslaughter, also known as vehicular homicide in Georgia, is a very serious charge. It is one of the most serious charges that a driver can face. This charge is the result of someone being accused of causing a death while driving a vehicle.
There are two types of vehicular homicide charges in Georgia; first-degree vehicular homicide and second-degree vehicular homicide. The first is charged when someone causes the death of another person while violating Georgia DUI or reckless driving laws, committing a hit-and-run, fleeing from police, illegally passing a school bus, or driving on a suspended license while being declared a “habitual violator.” The penalty for a conviction of first-degree vehicular homicide is three to fifteen years in prison per death.
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