Charges upgraded in deadly wrong-way crash - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Charges upgraded in deadly wrong-way crash

Posted: Updated:

(WMC-TV) –  It was just a few weeks ago that Jantwnette Smith was remembered by those who knew her best.

"Your smile sealed the deal on our friendship," said one friend while reading a poem.

A vigil was held outside Smith's alma mater, Trezevant High School, where 26 balloons were released into the air for every year of Smith's life.

"Father God, we thank you for letting us assemble," prayed another friend.

Memphis Police say 31-year-old Benjamin Sargent crashed head-on into Smith's car after driving his Ford F-250 the wrong way on Christmas Eve.

The accident happened around 3:30 in the morning on Interstate 40 near Germantown Parkway.

Initially cited for DUI and reckless driving, charges were upgraded this week to vehicular homicide.

According to an affidavit, Sargent told police he had three drinks hours before the crash at the Brookhaven Pub in East Memphis and that he had only been on the road for about 10 minutes before smashing into Smith's car.

Sargent himself suffered only non-critical injuries.

Smith's friends said during their vigil that no one else should lose their life the way she did.

"We just want to bring awareness and share respect to those who lost their lives and to make people think before you pick up those keys, think about the other lives you may be putting in danger," said one of Smith's friends.

Benjamin Sargent bonded out of jail shortly after his arrest Wednesday.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:48:25 GMT
    James SiebenthalJames Siebenthal
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
  • 7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:31:56 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
    Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
  • Teen killed in crash after prom

    Teen killed in crash after prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:47:48 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A young man's life was taken too soon. It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends. His promMore >>
    It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends.More >>
Powered by WorldNow