Man, 74, Charged In Accident That Killed Wife

James Straley has been charged with vehicular homicide in the Sandy Springs crash that killed his wife, who died while en rote to the hospital.

Credit: Patch
Credit: Patch

A Tennessee man has been charged with in a fatal accident that killed his wife. 

James Straley, 74, has been charged with second degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield while turning left in the accident, which occurred on Saturday, June 28, the Sandy Springs Police Department said in a press release.

According to the agency, Straley was behind the wheel of a Toyota Avalon and proceeded to turn left onto the Interstate 285 westbound entrance ramp from the northbound side of Roswell Road. The Toyota veered into the path of a Nissan Pathfinder, which was occupied by 44-year old Shannon Latrice Zachary of Decatur.

The Pathfinder collided with the passenger side of the Toyota where Ailsie Straley, 75, was seated. 

The woman, who had to be extricated from the vehicle, was transported to Northside Hospital. On the way to the hospital, however, the woman went into cardiac arrest and died. 

An investigation determined Straley failed to yield to the Pathfinder as he entered the dedicated left-turn lane from Roswell Road.  

Straley has been escorted to the city of Alpharetta Jail in order to post bond.  

According to Ailsie Straley's obituary, the Straleys lived in Kingsport, Tennessee, and a funeral service will be held on Thursday. 

Kathina Weikum July 02, 2014 at 09:19 AM
This is too sad. I can only imagine this poor man is suffering enough knowing he caused his wife's death. They call it an "accident" for a reason..... praying.
Miles Rich July 02, 2014 at 09:35 AM
Charging the husband with vehicular homicide is a development of the last 20 plus years or so, with over anxious police and prosecutors. 30 or 40 years ago, this never would have happened, and probably would not happen today in many jurisdictions in the other states.
Miles Rich July 02, 2014 at 09:37 AM
According to the article above, it seems the woman died of a cardiac arrest, not injuries suffered in the accident itself. It's almost like the felony murder rule here in Georgia, (if she hadn't been in a car accident, she would not have gone into cardiac arrest).
teresa noles July 02, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Drop the charge! It was an accident!
Greg Wardlaw July 02, 2014 at 04:40 PM
Don't the authorities think this man is suffering enough. It seems there is no such thing as an "accident" anymore. I don't know what is the driving force behind this. It seems to be happening all over the country. We might as well take accident out of the dictionary. I think it is at least partly because of the economy. With charges the police get money for fines, lawyers are hired for defense, driving schools, probation, and on and on and on. It is a huge "legal" scam. A 74 year old man has got to be devastated just by losing his wife. This is disgusting and a real low point in our society.


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