Motorcycle fatality leads to vehicular homicide charge

Becky Campbell • Jun 21, 2019 at 8:07 PM

A Jonesborough man whose motorcycle crashed into a turning vehicle on Highway 36 last summer was arrested two weeks ago in the death of his passenger, who was thrown from the bike.

The crash happened on the Kingsport Highway June 11, 2018. Billy Hale, 31, 2 Trivette Concourse, Johnson City, was arrested earlier this month on a single-count indictment of vehicular homicide by intoxication.

Hale was driving a 2007 Yamaha YZF motorcycle north on State Route 36, with Nichole Marie Johnson on the bike as a passenger. According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol crash report, a southbound vehicle — driven by Zachary T. Marshall, 25, Johnson City — pulling a trailer made a left turn from the highway onto Orchard Street.

Hale crashed into the pickup truck’s trailer near Orchard Street on Tenn. Highway 36 in the Oak Grove area north of Boones Creek, according to the THP’s accident report.

Johnson was killed, and Hale was taken to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of injuries. According to the THP report, blood tests were performed on Hale,  Johnson and Marshall, but the results of those were redacted from the document.

In the report, the THP indicated Marshall made an improper turn and Hale was speeding. Hale was indicted on the vehicular homicide charge in January by a Washington County grand jury, but was just arrested June 6.

He was being held in the Washington County Detention Center on a  $50,000 bond. His arraignment in Criminal Court is Sept. 18.

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