PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 31-year-old Portland, Tenn. man is behind bars, accused of driving the wrong way on I-24 in Lyon County, Ky., smashing headfirst into another car.
Multiple people were injured in the 2020 crash that claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy.
According to the Kentucky State Police, on June 22, 2020, Jose Antonio drove his 2003 Ford Mustang in the wrong lane of traffic on I-24.
The police report indicated Antonio slammed headfirst into a 2004 Chevy Malibu with five occupants.
The 45-year-old driver of the Malibu was from Cairo, Ill. The report indicated there were also four children in the car that caught fire.
Everyone was injured and transported to local hospitals. An 11-year-old child was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the obituary for the young man, he was a promising musician who played multiple instruments, including piano, violin and trumpet. The obituary indicates he was a member of the National Honor Society and had qualified to skip a grade ahead.
The obituary also said he liked to fish with his father and hang out playing video games with his brother.
According to a press release, Antonio was indicted in November 2021, and then on March 29, 645 days after the fiery wreck, he was arrested in connection with the tragedy.
News 2 obtained a bodycam video of the arrest. It showed Portland police, at the request of the Kentucky State Police, going to the Portland home of Jose Antonio.
Officers knocked on his door, but found the suspect running in the backyard.
Antonio quickly gave up and was taken into custody without further incident.
According to KSP, the 31-year-old was charged with reckless homicide and four counts of assault, as well as driving on a DUI suspended license and having no insurance.
Portland Police Chief Jason Williams said, his agency was happy to help bring Antonio to justice.
“I don’t think we have had any dealings with him other than just this case, but obviously we are always happy to assist other law enforcement agencies,” Chief Williams said. “Teamwork is always good and so we like it when people contact us and we can bring something to finality for them.”
Antonio is currently in the Sumner County Jail where he is awaiting extradition to face his charges in Kentucky.