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Trucker pleads guilty in wreck

DA: Family OK with negotiated sentence

POSTED: September 16, 2009 4:00 a.m.

A log truck driver pleaded guilty Monday to charges in connection with a collision that claimed the life of a 33-year-old Forsyth County mother.


The family of Felicia M. Croy chose not to address Jackie Lee Blackwell, 56, of Talking Rock after he admitted he was at fault in the April 2008 wreck on Kelly Bridge Road in southwestern Dawson County. 


Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said Croy’s family approved the negotiated sentence of four years with six months to serve in local custody. 


Under the negotiated terms, Blackwell, who received first offender status, is not eligible to be released early. The remaining years of his sentence will be served on probation.


“This is obviously a very tragic event, but the victim’s family was very forgiving of the defendant’s actions that day that resulted in the death of their loved one,” Darragh said. 


Originally charged with driving under the influence, Blackwell was sentenced for the reduced charge of reckless driving, in addition to the first-degree homicide by vehicle and driving with a suspended license.


A man who answered the phone at the home of Croy’s parents said the family does not want to comment on the sentencing.


Croy was the mother of two small children.


Authorities said Blackwell lost control of the log truck while traveling west on Kelly Bridge Road, striking a pickup driven by Croy and spilling the logs onto her vehicle.


Blackwell, who worked for Reece Logging Co. of Jasper at the time of the wreck, was ordered to report to the Dawson County Detention Center no later than 8 a.m. today to begin his sentence.


He also must pay a $2,500 fine and $3,000 in restitution.


Croy was one of 10 traffic-related deaths in Dawson County in 2008. There have been four in 2009.


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