JACKSON COUNTY — The man who was driving during the accident which killed a young Cookeville man and his girlfriend from Cleveland last month is now facing charges of vehicular homicide, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The Cookeville Herald-Citizen, which is following this case, is a sister newspaper of the Cleveland Daily Banner.
Randy B. Johnson, 29, of Smithville, is charged with two counts in the death of Brian C. Walton, 21, of Fisk Road, Cookeville, and Kayla C. Biddy, 22, of Cleveland.
THP Trooper Darren Butler confirmed he filed the charges against Johnson. He also charged Johnson with driving on a suspended license.
The accident happened Feb. 25, on Highway 135 near Spring Creek in Jackson County.
Johnson was driving a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup and had three passengers, Kandle R. Bethcher of Cookeville in the front seat and the young couple in the back. He lost control of the vehicle on a curve, and the truck ran off the road, went airborne, struck a tree and landed on its top.
Walton and Biddy, who had just recently become engaged to be married, were killed instantly.
Investigators said the four occupants of the truck had been at a gathering of four-wheeler enthusiasts.
Butler said he filed the vehicular homicide charges against Johnson for allegedly being “unable to operate the vehicle safely” and thus causing the deaths of Walton and Biddy. He said Johnson was jailed in Jackson County under a $250,000 bond and said a court hearing in the case is set for April 6.
The trooper said the THP’s Critical Incident Response Team has conducted an investigation of the accident and said the investigation is ongoing.