Elizabethton man arraigned on vehicular homicide charges in Unicoi County

Brad Hicks • Apr 3, 2012 at 11:04 PM

ERWIN — The Elizabethton man charged in a fatal car collision that occurred last week in Unicoi County was arrested Monday evening and was arraigned in Unicoi County Sessions Court on Tuesday morning.

Randy L. Julian, 31, of Elizabethton, has been charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, three counts of vehicular assault, driving on a revoked license and having no proof of insurance.

According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report, Tabetha Grindstaff, 29, of Unicoi, was killed in a collision that occurred on the evening of March 27 on Sciota Road in Unicoi. Her three passengers, her two children — ages 5 and 9 — and an adult male were injured in the collision.

The Chevy Camaro driven by Grindstaff was traveling eastbound on Sciota Road while the Chevy S10 Blazer driven by Julian was traveling westbound, according to the THP report. The report states Julian’s vehicle crossed the center line of the road, and Grindstaff ran off the roadway to attempt to avoid the collision.

The two vehicles struck head-on near the eastbound shoulder of the road, according to the report.

THP Trooper Jim Jackson, who is in charge of the investigation, previously said Unicoi County Coroner Ed Herndon pronounced Grindstaff dead at the scene.

According to the affidavit of complaint filed in Unicoi County Sessions Court, during the course of the investigation, Julian stated to officials that he had taken methadone and Xanax the day of the collision. Late last week, arrest warrants were issued for Julian.

Jackson said Tuesday afternoon that Julian turned himself in to Carter County authorities on a violation of probation charge Monday afternoon. Officials there saw that Julian had a hold against him out of Unicoi County, Jackson said, and Julian was later transported to the Unicoi County Jail.

Blood drawn from Julian has been sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lab in Knoxville and the results of lab tests are pending, Jackson said. He also said the investigation into the collision will continue to be ongoing.

“The investigation will be going on all the way up to the criminal court proceedings if it goes that far,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Grindstaff’s 9-year-old daughter, who suffered abdominal injuries in the collision and was flown from the scene via Wings Air Rescue, has been released from the hospital. Grindstaff’s 5-year-old son, who also suffered abdominal injuries and had to go undergo surgery, remains hospitalized under guarded care, Jackson said.

Grindstaff’s adult passenger and Julian suffered leg injuries in the collision.

A $100,000 bond secured through a bail bondsman was set for Julian Tuesday morning in Unicoi County Sessions Court and he remains in the Unicoi County Jail. He is scheduled to again appear in Sessions Court on April 12.

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