The Union Recorder

April 18, 2014

No homicide charges in N. Jefferson St. wreck

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — No vehicular homicide charges were levied in the Dec. 3, 2013 North Jefferson Street traffic incident that caused an infant’s death, according to investigation findings.

The Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) recently wrapped its investigation. Senior Trooper Marion Bragg with the SCRT said Thursday only a failure to maintain lane charge was attributed to Mildred Baugh Hill, 65, who crossed over into the southbound lane while driving a 2008 Toyota Camry hitting a 2007 Chevrolet Impala head on shortly before 7 p.m.

The collision occurred just past East Walton Street.

“Even though there were two vehicles and another driver involved, the vehicular homicide aspect of it is that of a family on family situation,” Bragg said. “During our investigation and consultation with the Solicitor’s Office, the determination was made that if the child’s mother, the driver’s daughter, did not want her mother prosecuted for vehicular homicide then the State had no interest in pursuing the charge against Hill.”

According to the initial Milledgeville Police Department crash report, Sparta resident and backseat Camry passenger Vernita Reeves removed her 13-month-old child from the car seat “due to the child spitting up” and “said that is when the crash occurred.”

The MPD report said the infant was unresponsive and not breathing at the scene.

Neither the Camry’s driver, Hill, nor the front seat passenger, Pauline Cummings, were able to give any information on the cause of the crash, based on the initial report.

Thomas Edward Manley, the southbound Impala driver, told MPD at the scene “he only knew that the other vehicle suddenly moved into his lane.”

Manley was trapped inside his vehicle when the reporting MPD officer approached that December evening.

Hill, also a Sparta resident, was trapped and required extraction from the front seat as well, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Due to the severity of the crash, GSP took over as the investigating agency.

Authorities closed down the roadway from Walton to Hall Street for three hours, allowing the SCRT to analyze the scene. The group investigates fatal crashes and documents evidence for potential legal use.

The four adults involved were transported to the Medical Center of Central Georgia where they were listed at critical but stable condition within days of the incident.

“They were significant injuries that required extended treatments,” Bragg said.

Bragg said the misdemeanor failure to maintain lane charge addressed the property loss and injuries sustained by Manley. The maximum penalty is up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.