Around 3:00 a.m. today, a car driven by Jessica M. Johnson was involved in a car accident involving a motorcycle. The accident happened near the downtown I75/I85 connector in Atlanta.
After clipping the motorcycle while trying to merge, a female passenger fell off and was run-over.
Johnson has been charged with Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree and DUI. Her Alco-Sensor result was .209 on the side of the road. However, that result should not have been released to the media since it's inadmissible in court.
It is commonly known that the police release the result of the Alco-sensor to poison the jury pool and public opinion. As I have written, the P.B.T. is not considered to be accurate because it has not reached a degree of scientific certainty to be used in court. Environmental factors and recent consumption of alcohol can result in an entirely inaccurate reading.
An interesting twist in this case is that the driver of the motorcycle drove off, after briefly stopping. That driver is probably unaware that he could also be charged with hit and run, and as a party to the crime of the vehicular homicide. It's certainly possible that motorcycle driver left the scene because his actions contributed to the cause of the death, and he may also have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If the Georgia State Patrol accident reconstruction team finds the motorcycle driver partially responsible for the accident and there is evidence he was impaired, he could be charged with the Vehicular Homicide of his passenger. It's fairly common for the driver of a vehicle to be charged with the death of his or her passenger.
According to the AJC, the motorcycle driver went over to where his or her passenger was pinned against the automobile driven by Johnson. After calling her name, he went back to the motorcycle and took off. He is still at large.
Those actions alone cause me to believe that he was either partially responsible for the accident or under the influence. What he may not know is that by leaving the scene of the accident, both assumptions will be made by the police.
The only legal and moral course of action would have been for the motorcycle driver to have remained at the scene and rendered aid. Further, the fact that he left the scene will also provide a defense bonanza for Johnson's defense team, since causation is an element to the offense of Vehicular Homicide in Georgia.