Georgia Driver Sentenced to Fifty Years in Prison for DUI Crash

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

According to reports out of DeKalb County, a driver was sentenced to fifty years in prison for causing a crash that resulted in the deaths of three people.

The District Attorney stated that the driver stayed up all night drinking on July 4th before getting behind the wheel of his SUV and causing the fatal wreck. He initiated a crash that resulted in the deaths of 67-year-old Vernon Hatley, his wife, 65-year-old Willie Mae Hatley, and their friend, 65-year-old Cora Rhodes Lyles while they were on their way to church.

After the initial wreck, the driver then jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to steal the car of a witness before he was ultimately stopped by other witnesses at the scene of the crash. He was convicted of multiple counts of vehicular homicide in Georgia as well as DUI in Georgia. On top of both of those charges he was convicted of hit and run in Georgia as well for his attempt to flee the scene.

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will dive into the law behind the crime of hit and run in the state of Georgia as it covers more than people tend to think.

Hit and Run in Georgia

Hit and run, otherwise known as leaving the scene of an accident in Georgia, happens when an individual is accused of not fulfilling the following legal responsibilities.

The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:

(1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;

(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;

(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person; and

(4) Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

All of these responsibilities are outlined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-270.

If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements will be found guilty of a felony. The penalty for a hit and run conviction can include up to five years in prison.

Practice Note

Now the sentencing in this case is severe because of the deaths that resulted from the hit and run crash. No matter what the circumstances - if you have been arrested for a serious traffic violation or related crime - call our offices now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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