One brother was killed, and a second brother critically injured early Sunday morning after they left a party near Red Bird Road, and crashed on a four-wheeler a short distance away.
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley pronounced Matthew White, 20, of Williamsburg, dead shortly after 4 a.m. from multiple injuries to the head and chest.
No autopsy has been ordered but a toxicology test will be performed on White, and results are expected to be complete in a couple of weeks, Croley said.
Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said that alcohol involvement is suspected, but has not been confirmed.
The crash happened about 3 a.m. on Levi Lay Road, which is located about 5.5 miles north of Williamsburg.
According to a Whitley County Sheriff’s Department release, the two brothers were on a four-wheeler that lost control navigating a curve and collided with a tree.
Croley said Matthew White, who was the driver, struck a tree about two feet from the side of the road.
No other vehicles were involved and neither brother was wearing a safety device, such as a helmet, Croley said.
The crash happened a few hundred yards away from the party.
Croley said that people apparently either saw, heard or witnessed the wreck in some way and got to the victims soon after the crash.
Harrell said that there were separate 911 calls from a man and a woman about the accident, but a 911 computer aided dispatch report didn’t indicate who made those phone calls.
Matthew’s brother, Dustin White, 21, who was a passenger on the ATV, was initially transported to Jellico Community Hospital, Croley said.
Whitley County EMS later transported Dustin White to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, but a hospital spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon that he has now been discharged.
“Please join the sheriff’s department in keeping White’s family and friends in your thoughts or prayers,” Harrell wrote in the release.
Deputy Brian Hensley is continuing the investigation and was assisted at the scene by Deputy Derek Eubanks.
Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 10 adults in connection to the party that the two men had attended.
As deputies Hensley and Eubanks responded to the end of Levi Lay Road to investigate the fatal crash, they found people trying to leave the party, according to a Whitley County Sheriff’s Department release.
Deputies found minors, i.e. people under the age of 21, under the influence of alcohol, and adults, who are 21 or older, among them.
A total of 10 adults, who ranged in age from 18 – 35, were arrested on charges including alcohol intoxication in a public place, unlawful transaction with a minor or a combination of the two charges, the release stated.
Out of the 10 people arrested, two males ages 18 and 22 were also charged with second-degree disorderly conduct.
All 10 were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.
The sheriff’s department is continuing the investigation.
Those arrested included:
- Robert Griffith, 28, of Corbin – alcohol intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
- Brad Hamlin, 26, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
- Mateo Hill, 18, of Rockholds – alcohol intoxication and second-degree disorderly conduct. He allegedly smarted off to the female guards, according to his arrest citation.
- Joshua L. Howard, 35, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor
- Payton Johnson, 22, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication, third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and second-degree disorderly conduct. Johnson, whose birthday was Sunday, allegedly tried to kick the jail van window out as he was being transported to jail, according to his arrest citation.
- Lalo Kilberry, 24, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
- Lige Matlock, 19, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication.
- Kimothy McFarland, 21, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
- Daniel Pena, 23, of Rockholds – alcohol intoxication and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
- Brady Steadman, 20, of Williamsburg – alcohol intoxication.
Griffith, Hamlin, Howard, Johnson, Kilberry, McFarland and Pena all pleaded not guilty during their arraignments Monday afternoon in Whitley District Court.
Judge Fred White scheduled a June 4 pretrial conference for all seven defendants, set $10,000 third-party surety bonds for them and ordered them not to consume any alcohol while this matter is pending.
Hill, Matlock and Steadman all posted bond prior to court Monday, and will be arraigned at a later date.