A suspected drunk driver accused of killing a young Black doctor was sentenced to one year in prison after he reached a plea deal on Monday. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the suspected DUI crash occurred in Cobb County, Georgia, on January 18, 2020.
The deceased 26-year-old doctor, Tyler Wallace, was said to be driving to his Fayetteville home after attending a post-medical training class when an allegedly drunk Brent Douglas Davis hit his vehicle. Davis was ultimately charged in connection with Wallace’s killing after he later succumbed to his injuries.
Besides the prison sentence, Davis will also be on probation for 14 years after he is released. The deceased doctor’s family, who was present in the courtroom on Monday, displayed Wallace’s doctor’s coat and picture while his sister spoke.
“This is Dr. Tyler Wallace, our brother’s white coat,” Charisse Gilbert said. “He earned this during his first year in medical school in Augusta. We’ll never have an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of his labor, the fruits of his sacrifice, the fruits of his discipline, and neither will he.”
Police, in an arrest warrant, said, Davis hit his 2014 Toyota Tundra into the driver’s side of Wallace’s 2016 Chrysler 200 after the deceased doctor branched toward Highlands Parkway Drive around 6 pm.
“It was determined that the driver of the Toyota Tundra was traveling at 54 mph in a 45 mph zone, and the distance where the Chrysler would be in view of the Toyota Tundra there was enough distance and time for the driver of the Toyota Tundra to stop or avoid the Chrysler,” the arrest warrant stated at the time the crash was being investigated.
“Further evidence shows the driver of the Toyota Tundra did not let off the accelerator and apply the brakes until approximately one second before impact, and the driver of the Toyota Tundra turned into the Chrysler when there was enough room to the left lane to avoid the vehicle.”
After the crash, the warrant stated that officers who arrived at the scene asked Davis to exit his vehicle for a talk, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. An officer observed the 52-year-old man had slurred speech and was unable to stand steadily. Beer cans were also seen in his car.
The arrest warrant stated that Davis “had a heavy stutter, the smell of his Arby’s sandwich emitted from his breath, and (the officer) smelled the odor of either mouthwash or a breath mint.”
Davis was initially charged with vehicular homicide and DUI, but he was not indicted on the latter – though the indictment reportedly stated he was driving under the influence of alcohol.
David Holmes, an assistant district attorney, told the court on Monday that the crash was also possibly caused by the dangerous intersection. “This is an issue that Smyrna needs to address,” Holmes said. “This is a very dangerous intersection. We believe this is the best potential resolution to this case given the potential pitfalls at trial.”