Huntsville Teen Indicted for Fatal Accident

By: Cody Stark, The Huntsville Item
By: Cody Stark, The Huntsville Item

A Huntsville teenager is facing third-degree felony charges for his role in a one-vehicle accident last December that left one girl dead and another seriously injured.

A Walker County grand jury last week indicted Bryson Richard O’Brien on two counts of causing an accident involving serious bodily injury or death. If convicted, he faces two to 10 years in prison for each charge.

O’Brien stands accused of causing two girls to be ejected out of the bed of a pickup truck he was driving in the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2012. According to police reports, he made a reckless turn into the parking lot of a business in the 2500 block of Sam Houston Avenue.

Jami Leann Chatham and McKayla Ryann Wright, both 17 at the time, fell out of the back of the truck and suffered severe head injuries when they struck the pavement. Chatham passed away on New Year’s Day as a result of her injuries, and Wright is still recovering from hers.

Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the accident, and O’Brien, who was also 17 at the time of the accident, was originally charged with intoxicated assault.

“This is the old failure to stop and render aid charge, which we felt best fit this case,” District Attorney David Weeks said. “He got out of the truck and knew the girls were injured and needed help, but he still fled the scene. After police interviewed a witness who stayed at the scene, they were able to locate him and make an arrest.”

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