Car accident kills Tennessee doctor

A well-respected Tennessee oncologist who was also known for his work in dog rescue was killed in a car accident this month. The man alleged to be responsible for the fatal crash in Wilson County is facing criminal charges.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the 20-year-old who is allegedly responsible for the crash failed to obey a traffic light at an intersection and hit the side of the 59-year-old doctor’s car. The accident, which reportedly pushed both cars into a ditch, occurred near Mt. Juliet. The Hermitage doctor, who had practiced medicine for more than three decades, was killed instantly.

Although blood test results on the 20-year-old are still pending, law enforcement officers say they found evidence that he was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. So far, he has been charged with felony reckless endangerment and failing to yield to a traffic signal. However, the crash is still under investigation and additional charges are pending.

This is not the man’s first encounter with the legal system. Last year, he was charged with possession or casual exchange of a controlled substance. He was also on probation for underage alcohol consumption.

The chief executive officer of Tennessee Oncology, where the doctor worked, called the victim a “fantastic colleague.” He noted, however, that the “true passion” of both the doctor and his wife was rescue dogs. His wife is on the board of a Nashville rescue organization called Proverbs 12:10. The rescue group’s name, as noted on its Facebook page, refers to the Bible verse that says, “A wise man regards the life of his beast.”

Sadly, many people found to be at fault in drunk driving accidents have a history of substance abuse involving drugs and/or alcohol. It is not always possible to keep people from getting behind the wheel when they are impaired and putting other people’s, as well as their own, lives at risk. However, by holding them accountable both criminally and civilly for their actions, Tennesseans may be able to help at least some people think twice before drinking and driving.

Source: WKRN.com, “Hermitage doctor killed in Wilson County crash, Driver charged” Aug. 06, 2014