Election Commissioner, Former State House Candidate Charged With Vehicular Homicide

A Cocke County election commissioner and businessman faces charges of vehicular homicide and drunken driving after authorities say he struck and killed a Vermont woman riding a bicycle Tuesday night, reports the News Sentinel.
Dan Ford of Hartford Road in Cosby had been drinking before the 9:42 p.m. impact, according to a report filed by Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Dennis Jenkins.
Ford was traveling north on state Highway 73 in a 2001 GMC 2500 Sierra pickup when he encountered two women riding bicycles, according to Jenkins’ report. The speed limit on that stretch of highway is 45 mph.
Jenkins said the truck struck both bicyclists.
The impact killed Katelin Richardson, 21, of Jeffersonville, Vt., Jenkins said. Richardson was not wearing a bicycle helmet, but Jenkins’ probe concluded the device probably would not have saved the woman’s life.
The second bicyclist, Rachel Warren, 19, of Seattle, Wash., was not injured.
Jenkins noted Ford had been drinking an alcoholic beverage, and more tests were ordered to determine if drugs also were involved in the crash. Ford was using a seat belt and was not injured.
Ford was freed from jail after posting a $50,000 bond.
He is an election commissioner in Cocke County. Ford is a former chair of the Cocke County Republican Party and ran in 2008 for state representative but lost to the incumbent. (Note: He was the Republican nominee against Democratic Rep. Eddie Yokley, D-Greeneville, who lost then in 2010 to Rep.Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby.)

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