43-year-old Vanderbilt Doctor Derrick Sowder was jailed on April 15th for a hit and run on Lebanon Pike. A witness provided police with Sowder’s license plate number, and they found him parking his vehicle in his driveway as they arrived. There was significant damage to his vehicle, consistent with the crash that took place approximately a mile away. Sowder told police that he had been hit by an unknown vehicle and drove home without stopping after the crash. Sowder appeared to be intoxicated and admitted to drinking a glass of wine about 3 hours before the crash. His speech was slow and slurred, and he had watery bloodshot eyes. Mr. Sowder’s boyfriend, James Lindsey, took a rideshare to his house after hearing about the crash and told police that He and Sowder each had about four glasses of wine at his house before Mr. Sowder left to drive home. Mr. Sowder hit Elliot Mullins on a motorcycle, and he suffered a compound fracture to his leg.
35-year-old Chastas Knight is charged with vehicular assault after police say she sideswiped a Nissan Altima and drove head-on into a Nissan Altima in May of 2022. One of the drivers, Tina Forward, suffered a broken finger, and the other driver, John Ayers, suffered multiple broken bones and limbs. Knight also suffered several broken bones and was transported to the hospital, where she admitted to using methamphetamine prior to crashing into the two vehicles. Warrants were later issued for her arrest, and she was booked into jail this week.
38-year-old Jeremy Morphis told police he consumed “two beers” before crashing his vehicle Sunday night with a passenger, Heather Knalls, inside. Witnesses say he was weaving and suddenly swerved to the left, crashing into the woods. Morphis was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Knalls, however, suffered a dislocated and fractured hip from the crash. He is charged with DUI and felony vehicular assault. In August, Judge Jennifer Smith gave Morphis a deferred judgment with no conviction for placing a hidden camera in the bathroom of his home to record an underage relative for sexual gratification.
19-year-old Joshua Lira-Sierra was jailed this week on several outstanding warrants stemming from an incident in September of 2021 during which police say he nearly struck a police car while traveling at a high rate of speed and then crashed with his two passengers inside. Everyone was treated at Vanderbilt for their injuries, and his blood tests came back positive for Lorazepam, marijuana, and Fentanyl. Warrants were signed for two counts of vehicular assault on his passengers, Jorge Centella & Hadolp Castillo-Vasquez, evading arrest in a motor vehicle, and driving on a suspended license.
27-year-old Brandon Duncan faces a multitude of charges after police say that during an interview from the trauma unit at Vanderbilt Hospital, he admitted to smoking “one blunt” several hours before crashing his vehicle near Bellevue, which injured his 2-year-old child on July 2nd, and caused another passenger to be impaled by a stick.
19-year-old Yehiys Nigatu was charged with vehicular assault after he hit another driver head-on and spontaneously admitted, in front of MNPD in the emergency room, to drinking a quarter of a bottle of vodka before driving.
28-year-old James Walter was charged with vehicular assault and driving on a revoked license after causing a crash on Old Hickory Blvd which sent a person to the Vanderbilt Emergency Department. Later admits he consumed beers and weed.
29-year-old Derrica Johnson was charged with criminal homicide, six counts aggravated child abuse, and four counts vehicular assault when she allowed her drunk friend to drive her vehicle which resulted in a crash that ended one man’s life and injured multiple people, including children.
27-year-old Crystal Villafuerte was charged with driving on a revoked license, vehicular assault, and financial responsibility violation involving injury when she was speeding down I-24, lost control, and smashed into an SUV and semi. A 14-year-old was thrown from the SUV and sustained critical injuries.
Brandon Mundy, 23, drove through an MTA bust stop, striking one pedestrian with this vehicle, and running over the feet of another. According to Skyline Hospital, the victim struck suffered serious injuries and may possibly lose his leg.