Chattanooga: Lane guilty in 2009 fatal hit-and-run, jury finds

Chattanooga: Lane guilty in 2009 fatal hit-and-run, jury finds

March 4th, 2011 by Todd South in Local - Breaking News

Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press -- Mar 4, 2011 Jeremy Lane listens to the foreman of the jury read out the verdicts in his trial Friday afternoon. The jury returned three guilty verdicts and one not guilty decision in Lane's case, who was accused of vehicular homicide in the December 2009 death of Susan Wood.

Jurors found a 26-year-old man who hit a woman with his car and left her to die guilty of vehicular homicide this afternoon.

Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole will sentence Jeremy Allen Lane in coming weeks.

Lane faced charges of vehicular homicide, DUI, filing a false report and leaving the scene of an accident. On Tuesday, moments after the jury of nine women and four men was seated, Lane's attorney, Dan Ripper, entered guilty pleas for him on the lesser charges of filing false report and leaving the scene of an accident.

During the three-day trial, witnesses testified that Lane left the Chattanooga Billiard Club at about 7 a.m. Dec. 23, 2009. As he drove toward the North Shore, he struck Susan Wood at the intersection of Walnut and Fourth streets as she was walking to work at Unum, according to testimony. Wood, a 42-year-old mother of two, died later that day.

Police said Lane never hit his brakes or swerved but instead kept driving.

Witnesses testified they thought Lane had been drinking. One co-worker said she'd smoked marijuana with Lane hours before the fatal collision. Another said she was talking on a cell phone with Lane when he said, "Oh my God, I think I just hit someone."

Lane stashed his battered red 1995 Nissan 240SX at the Riverview Grande apartments and then called 911 with a false story about being carjacked.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.