MNPD: Teen crashes into car, killing 71-year-old man at South Nashville intersection

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 71-year-old man was killed after a 13-year-old driver crashed into the man’s parked car Friday morning.

Metro police said the crash happened around 9 a.m. at the intersection of Nolensville Pike and Haywood Lane.

The teen was fleeing from police north on Nolensville Pike in a white Dodge Dart when he ran the red light at Haywood Lane, swerved to miss another vehicle, and lost control of the car which then hit David L. Cheatham’s Dodge Challenger in the parking lot of an O’Reilly Auto Parts on Nolensville Pike. Cheatham died at the scene.

The teen was transported to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He will be charged with several offenses, including vehicular homicide by recklessness, upon his discharge from the hospital.

According to police, the 13-year-old driver was fleeing from police after being involved in a hit-and-run. The teen then ran through a red light and hit David L. Cheatham’s car in a parking lot, killing him.

“Unfortunately a very tragic day all around,” Attorney Jim Todd said.

Prior to the deadly crash, the teen had reportedly been involved in a hit and run crash on Danby Drive and Blackman Road. The other driver involved in the hit and run reported that he followed the teen onto Nolensville Pike but stopped near Haywood Lane due to excessive speeds.

Todd, a former juvenile prosecutor, said because of the driver’s age he cannot be tried as an adult for the vehicular homicide charge. In order to be transferred Todd said the boy would have to be at least 16-years-old.

“Under Tennessee law he cannot be transferred and tried as an adult. So he will stay in the juvenile system. And he’s entitled to every constitutional right that you and I have. He’s presumed innocent,” Todd said.

Todd said it’s unlikely that the teen would serve the maximum punishment of being in a juvenile detention center until his 19th birthday. Instead rehabilitation is the ultimate goal so Todd suspects probation or being placed in the care of children’s services would be the likely outcome.

The investigation continues into how the teen acquired the keys to the Dodge Dart. The vehicle has not been reported stolen and attempts to contact the owner have thus far been unsuccessful.

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