Truck driver indicted for 2007 wreck

Published 7:21 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

The driver of a log truck that was involved in a wreck that left the driver of a semi-trailer truck dead in 2007 has been indicted by a Decatur County grand jury for leaving the scene of an accident, which in this case could carry a felony punishment.

Shortly before dawn on Oct. 3, 2007, 33-year-old Jesse Newton Stanford of Haleyville, Ala., was killed when his semi-trailer truck collided with the rear end of a log truck driven by Joey L. McMillan, also known as Joey Hotzclaw, at the intersection of U.S. 84 West and Jennifer Drive—approximately a half mile outside of Bainbridge City limits.

Stanford was traveling east toward Bainbridge, where he had planned to stop. Georgia State Patrol Trooper 1st Class Walt Landrum, who investigated the wreck, said it appeared McMillan may have been attempting to make a U-turn when Stanford’s truck struck a steel column on the fully-loaded log truck before traveling across the median into a field north of the highway.

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According to the Sheriff’s Office, a witness that called E-911 reported seeing the log truck pull into the parking lot at the old Bainbridge Truck Stop following the accident and inspect the damage to the truck. However, McMillan initially told law enforcement he was not sure whether his truck had been in a collision.

McMillan was indicted by the grand jury on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, improper turn and improper stop.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland explained that leaving the scene of an accident when a death occurs as a result of the accident carries is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison.

Felony theft arrests made

Two employees of Kmart were arrested for shoplifting more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from the store, according to Bainbridge Public Safety Investigator Chris Jordan.

Investigator Jordan and Officer Pat Bryant arrested Charese Brashalo Bell, 26, of 1105 Lake Drive, Apt. 902, and Jessica Nicole Calloway, 20, of 1325 3rd St. at Kmart on Thursday.

According to investigators, Calloway was seen on video surveillance acting as if she was ringing up a considerable number of items that Bell was purchasing along with another male individual. When the two were done checking out the total amount paid for the items was $3.25, according to incident reports.

Both Bell and Calloway were charged with felony shoplifting in the first degree.

Investigator Jordan said they are looking for the male accomplice seen in the video.

Severe storm Wednesday night

No injuries or damages were reported in Decatur County as a result of a severe storm that passed through the county Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning.

The same storm, however, did cause damage in Grady and Thomas counties.

Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency in four counties—Hancock, Jasper, Thomas and Warren—due to the severe weather.

“Wednesday night’s storms caused one death and 22 injuries across the state. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of the deceased and to those who were hurt. In addition to the human toll, the storms left trees downed, houses damaged and roads blocked across Georgia,” said Gov. Perdue.