The man accused of driving the vehicle that killed a Martinez teenager a week ago has been charged with vehicular homicide.
Lucky Wade Jackson, 43, of the 300 block of Buxton Lane in Evans, turned himself in to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday morning and was charged in the Sept. 12 crash that killed 19-year-old Jordan White of Martinez, said Capt. Steve Morris.
Jackson was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, failing to obey traffic control devices and failing to wear a seat belt, according to a sheriff’s office booking report. He was released after posting $13,400 bond.
Jackson was driving his 1999 Ford pickup west on Washington Road shortly before midnight Sept. 12 when he ran the red light at Ronald Reagan Drive and slammed into the driver’s side of the 2001 Honda Accord driven by White, who was turning left to head east on Washington Road, according to a sheriff’s office accident report.
White’s vehicle, with two other occupants, slid onto the lawn in front of Regions Bank on the corner, while Jackson’s pickup traveled across oncoming lanes and struck an eastbound tractor-trailer waiting at the red light, according to the report.
White was airlifted to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital where she later died, while the two passengers in her car were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Funeral services for White were held Tuesday, as were services for 12-year-old MaKenna Arildsen, of Evans, who was killed Friday when she stepped in front of a vehicle on Washington Road less than half a mile from the crash that killed White. No charges were filed in that case.
The deaths brought to three the number of traffic fatalities last week in Columbia County. Alejandro Reyes-Romero, 35, of Evans, was killed Sept. 10 when he was thrown from a pickup driven by 28-year-old Alfonzo Nelle-Lopez of Evans that crashed on Columbia Road.
Nelle-Lopez was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, having an open container, failure to maintain lane and driving without a license. He is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center on bonds totalling $14,500, according to jail records.
Authorities earlier had said charges against Jackson were pending the return of blood-alcohol test results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab.
"The investigating deputy would have waited for (the test results) if no other evidence was present," Morris said. "In this case, probable cause existed for his arrest. Part of the investigation involved reviewing intersection cameras which took some time."
In addition, crash investigators interviewed White's passengers, witnesses of the crash, emergency medical personnel and others.
"It took some time, but after reviewing all the evidence with the exception of (the test results), probable cause existed," Morris said.
Nelle-Lopez was charged immediately after his crash because of the open containers of alcohol in his vehicle enabling a charge of DUI-less safe, Morris said, adding that the charge could be upgraded to DUI after Nelle-Lopez’s blood-alcohol test results are returned, Morris said.