Crimetracker: Prescription drugs found on driver accused of killing 89 year-old

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- An Alcoa woman faces multiple charges, including a third DUI, after she slammed into a man's pickup truck on Highway 411 in Blount County Thursday afternoon, killing him.

The Highway Patrol says Tammy Murphy, also known as Tammy Collins, crossed the center line, hitting and killing 89-year-old Kenneth Bollan. Her three-year-old grandson was in the car with her at the time and troopers also found prescription drugs. Collins is charged with DUI 3rd offense, aggravated vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, failure to maintain lane and failure to exercise due care.

"I don't know what to do, it's just got me all tore up," said Clarence Murphy, Tammy Murphy's husband.

Her husband can't believe what happened. He said his wife is bipolar and takes medication for the disorder. He said she's usually fine to drive, but if the meds are to blame, she would never take too much on purpose.

"They give her so many medications, they flip-flop, like a cocktail, you know?" said Murphy.

He said her grandson, Dallas Collins, doesn't like to stay in his car seat and speculates that could have caused the crash.

"She probably turned around and tried to make him get back in his car seat. That's probably what happened," he said.

Either way, when Amanda Moore heard Murphy was charged with killing someone while driving under the influence, she got angry. Last August, her daughter, Amelia Keown, was killed about two miles away on 411 when a car driven by John Perkins crashed into Amelia's car. Perkins was high on methamphetamine and prescription drugs.

"Just to hear about another fatal wreck on 411 South for the same reason - because someone was on drugs driving in the middle of the afternoon. Amelia wasn't doing anything wrong, the man who was driving wasn't doing anything wrong, that poor innocent baby wasn't doing anything wrong and she could have hurt a lot more people than what she did," said Moore.

That's why she's pushing for Amelia's law, which calls for harsher sentences for repeat DUI offenders.

Murphy's prior DUIs were in January and April 2004 in Blount County. She was also charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest this March.

Troopers gave Murphy a drug test after this crash and said the investigation is still ongoing. She's due in court on June 20.


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