NWGA Scanner | April 19th, 2021

Tennessee man sentenced to probation for September crash that killed Dalton motorcyclist

According to Whitfield County District Attorney Bert Poston, a Tennessee man was sentenced by Whitfield County Superior Court Judge Scott Minter to 12 months probation after pleading guilty Wednesday to failure to obey a traffic control device and second-degree vehicular homicide in connection with a three-vehicle crash in Dalton that killed a motorcyclist back in September. Poston said Kenneth James Blevins of Harrison, Tennessee, must also pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs and surcharges, perform 100 hours community service, pay $1,000 restitution and complete a state-approved defensive driving course at his expense as part of the negotiated plea deal. Under Georgia law O.C.G.A. §40-6-393, second-degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in jail and is a non-intentional death resulting from a traffic violation other than the following DUI, reckless driving, fleeing from police and a several of other violations. Poston told the Daily Citizen-News he “can’t think of a misdemeanor vehicular homicide that’s gotten jail time in the last 28 years unless it was run consecutive to some other charge.” The crash occured at approximately 9:20 am on Sept. 11, 2019 at the intersection of Walnut Avenue and VD Parrott Parkway. According to a Dalton Police Department crash report, a silver GMC Sonoma pickup truck was traveling north on V.D. Parrott Parkway, apparently attempting to turn west onto Walnut Avenue at the same time that a white Kia passenger car driven by Blevins was traveling east on Walnut Avenue. Those two vehicles collided in the intersection, and the impact sent the Kia into a motorcycle being driven by Thomas Brown, 72, of Dalton. Brown was killed by the impact. Poston said Blevins “admitted in court that he ran the red light and was at fault and was remorseful about what happened and apologized to the family. He had no significant prior criminal or traffic history.”