Crime

Man charged with homicide by vehicle in April 28 wreck

Sarah Robinson

srobinson@ledger-enquirer.com

One of five drivers involved in the April 28 wreck on Victory Drive was charged with homicide by vehicle.

Tommy Church, 62, of Phenix City was arrested in the Public Safety Center 7:20 a.m. Sunday, six days after police learned that 59-year-old driver Michael Gilbert died from injuries sustained in Victory Drive wreck.

Church is scheduled to face one count of homicide by vehicle in Recorder's Court Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Columbus Police said a 30-year-old Columbus woman driving a 2002 GMC Envoy Denali was stopped in the left turn lane on Victory Drive at the intersection with Lumpkin Boulevard. Church was traveling north on Victory Drive in a 2004 Ford F150, officials said.

The drivers traveling in a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country, 1998 Peterbilt Motors Conventional and a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban were headed south on Victory Drive approaching the intersection with Lumpkin Boulevard, the report states.

For some unknown reason, Church allegedly lost control of his vehicle around 11:14 a.m. and struck the GMC Envoy Denali with its front. That vehicle then pushed forward into the path of the Chrysler Town & Country, striking the left front of the vehicle, police said.

The Chrysler Town & Country Gilbert was driving rotated counter clockwise into the path of the Peterbilt Motors Conventional, causing the front of the semi to strike the left side of the Chrysler Town & Country, officers said.

The semi continued on its path and while doing so the left side of the trailer it was pulling hit the right front of the Chevrolet Suburban, officials said in the report.

After Church's vehicle made contact with the GMC Envoy Denali, it slid broadside into the median, striking the curb, authorities said.

After hitting the curb, Church's vehicle then struck the front of the Chrysler Town & Country with its front, causing the Ford F150 to rotate again counter clockwise and come to a final rest in the median, police said.

The 55-year-old man driving the semi was the only person who wasn't transported to the hospital for injuries. All the other drivers were transported to Midtown Medical Center with visible injuries immediately following the crash.

---Sarah is a crime and safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.

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