published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Driver indicted in death of stepmother in wreck

A 37-year-old man has been indicted on vehicular homicide and other charges in the death of his stepmother.

Michael Larry Smith faces an arraignment before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on June 1 on charges of vehicular homicide, driving on a revoked license, possession of marijuana, violation of open container law, failure to maintain lane and driving under the influence, according to court records.

Collegedale Police Chief Brian Hickman told the Times Free Press that 49-year-old Vanessa Smith died when a Ford Ranger driven by Michael Smith ran off the road in the 5800 block of Tallent Road about 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2011.

Hickman identified Vanessa Smith as Michael Smith's stepmother.

The truck hit a culvert, then flipped and landed on an embankment. Vanessa Smith was a passenger in the vehicle. Michael Smith was taken to a local hospital for treatment before being placed in jail custody.

Michael Smith has previous DUI, driver registration and license-related charges from a 1994 incident, according to court records.

In that incident he pleaded guilty and received a one-year suspended sentence, lost his license for one year and was ordered to attend DUI school and pay a $365 fine.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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