A 36-year-old Clinton man has been arrested and charged with both vehicular homicide and driving under the influence (DUI) charges for his role in causing a fatal crash in Anderson County on the evening of Feb. 8.

According to a spokesperson with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), the Clinton man had been driving his Kia Spectra southbound along Clinton Highway at around 5:30 p.m. when he suddenly crossed the center line into oncoming traffic near its intersection with Shepard Lane. The defendant allegedly struck a 64-year-old Harriman man’s Chevy Cavalier head-on in the process.

Officers who responded to the crash scene determined that both motorists had been wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. While the Kia’s driver survived the crash with only minor injuries, the Chevy’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

While receiving medical attention, the Kia’s driver was tested for both drug and alcohol use. Although tests didn’t indicate that he had any alcoholic beverages prior to the crash, a THP spokesperson notes that he tested positive for having narcotics in his system. He was taken into police custody and booked into jail soon thereafter. Police haven’t disclosed what drug the man may have taken prior to the crash.

It’s not immediately clear when the next hearing in the case is scheduled for or whether a judge planned to let him out on bail either.

The best way that Knoxville drivers can prevent crashes is by not becoming distracted by passengers, drugs, their phone, alcohol or a lack of sleep when they set out to drive. While penalties exist when drunk or drugged individuals injure or kill unassuming motorists, these penalties aren’t stiff enough. A compassionate car accidents attorney can hold drunk drivers financially accountable for the harm that they’ve caused.