A Tennessee resident hailing from the city of Clinton was charged over the weekend with both driving under the influence and vehicular homicide. The man, named as Timothy Gribble, 36, tested positive for drugs following the deadly crash that took place in Anderson County on Clinton Highway near the intersection of Shepard Lane on Friday evening.
Gribble was charged with killing Robert West, 64, of Harrima. The accident occured when Gribble’s Kia Spectra, traveling southbound, crossed over the centerline resulting in a deadly head on collision with West’s oncoming northbound Chevy Cavalier, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. West was killed from the impact despite wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. Gribble, who also was wearing his seatbelt was injured. Gribble later tested positive for drug use, but not alcohol consumption.
A driver is typically charged with vehicular homicide when a person dies due to gross negligence or drunk driving, as well as when a driver flees the scene of an accident where a person dies in what is known as a “hit and run.” The victim may be a passenger in the vehicle with the offender or a person outside of the vehicle such as another driver, a passenger in the other car, or a cyclist or pedestrian.
While vehicular homicide is a felony that comes with severe penalties across the country, the exact definition of the crime and the sentences and punishments vary depending on the circumstances of the crash, the state where it occurred, how the crime is categorised, the extent of the injuries and other factors. However, judges overwhelmingly do not look favorably on drunk or impaired drivers. In addition to steep fines, loss of driving privileges, and prison time the convicted offender will also be saddled with a felony criminal record which will impact future housing, employment and more explains Keller Law Offices.
In Tennessee, where the Friday evening crash between Gribble and West occured, vehicular homicide involving intoxication is considered to be a class B felony that typically carries with it eight to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. However, if it is found that the offender has a previous record of DUI’s the charge could be elevated to aggravated vehicular homicide, which is a class A felony that comes with 15 to 60 years in jail and up to $50,000 in fines.