published Friday, April 1st, 2011

Man faces homicide charge in fatal wreck

DALTON, Ga.—A Dalton man has been charged with second-degree homicide by vehicle in a three-vehicle accident that killed a woman on March 19.

Alejandro Mejia-Velasquez, 40, is being held without bond in the Murray County Jail after he was charged Tuesday with two counts — the homicide charge and a charge of failure to yield the right of way, both misdemeanors. After being denied bond Wednesday in Magistrate Court, the case now will go to Murray County Superior Court, according to the court clerk.

Mejia-Velasquez has been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel in addition to the charges he faces in Murray County, according to the sheriff’s department. ICE spokesman Temple Black confirmed ICE has lodged a detainer against Mejia-Velasquez, but did not provide additional details about how long he has been in the country or his legal status.

Anna Lee Morrison, 58, of Chatsworth, Ga., died on March 19 after she was airlifted to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga. Her husband, Roland Morrison, also was airlifted and remained in critical condition on Thursday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The wreck happened shortly before 10 a.m. at the intersection of state Route 52 and Duvall Road in Chatsworth, a Chatsworth Police Department report states.

Mejia-Velasquez, who was driving a 2002 Honda Odyssey with six passengers, made a left-hand turn on Route 52 into the path of a 2003 Honda motorcycle driven by Roland Morrison.

Both the Morrisons were thrown from the three-wheeled motorcycle, according to the report.

After the collision with the motorcycle, the Odyssey also hit a Chevrolet Blazer driven by William Swink, of Cleveland, Tenn., the report says.

No one in the Odyssey or the Blazer was injured seriously, the report states. Five of the Odyssey’s passengers were children ranging in age from 10 to 16.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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