Metro police: Driver in double fatal crash used cocaine prior to wreck


A man charged in a crash that killed two people earlier this month in South Nashville admitted to using cocaine and drinking prior to the fatal collision, court documents allege.

Howard McLemore, 52, was released Monday from Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was receiving treatment for injuries he suffered in the crash.

Upon being discharged from the hospital, McLemore was officially charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault in connection with the crash on the morning of February 3 along Nolensville Pike at Paragon Mills Road.

Metro police said Howard was driving the wrong way on Nolensville Pike when his vehicle collided with another car, killing the 25-year-old driver, Joaquin Bastidas and injuring Bastidas’ 18-year-old passenger.

McLemore’s 49-year-old passenger, Sandy Burns was also killed, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, McLemore “admitted to using cocaine prior to the collision” and “admitted to paramedics while he was in the ambulance that he had been drinking earlier in the evening.”

McLemore was being held on a $250,000 bond. His initial court date was set for Wednesday.

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