Driver involved in fatal wreck arrested on outstanding warrant

2017-06-14 | The Cullman Times

June 14--A man who was involved in a wreck that claimed the life of a Cullman teenager in May has been arrested in connection with the theft of two bottles of liquor from a local store.

Brad Meeks, 27, was the driver of a vehicle involved in the death of Cullman High School student Curtis Wilson, 15, on May 7. The accident remains under investigation by Alabama State Troopers.

Meeks was arrested Friday by Cullman police officers and charged with theft of property, fourth degree, which is a misdemeanor, according to Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper.

Culpepper said the store had surveillance footage that indicated Meeks had taken two bottles of liquor from the store without paying.

Meeks was hospitalized for several days following the car wreck. He was arrested Friday on the outstanding warrant and the cases are not related. The warrant dates back to April 24 after the incident in the store on April 11, Culpepper said.

An investigation continues into the wreck that claimed the life of Cullman student Curtis Wilson, 15. Alabama State Troopers reported alcohol was believed to be a factor in the wreck.

Senior Trooper Chuck Daniel on Tuesday said investigators took blood samples and are compiling a detailed explanation of their findings. That information will be sent to the Cullman County District Attorney's Office.

"I can say the investigation is still underway," Daniel said. "It could be two or three months before it is completed and sent to the DA to review."

Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock said Troopers, who work under the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, conduct a traffic homicide investigation that is highly detailed.

"It's an accident reconstruction, a full report," Blaylock said. "As soon as we receive that report we will review it and determine what action to take."

Ashley Wilson, Curtis' mother, was also injured in the fatal wreck and recently filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful death and negligent/wanton conduct against Meeks.

Th three-count suit alleges Meeks wrongly caused Wilson's death by crossing the center line of the two-lane county road as Meeks was traveling westbound. Early statements by law enforcement indicated that alcohol may have been a factor in causing the crash, but toxicology reports have not yet been released.

According to the wreck report filed online through the state's eCrash system, the investigating trooper reported he suspected the 27-year-old male driver involved in the wreck -- no names were listed -- was under the influence of alcohol when the wreck occurred.

The suit also names Allstate and ALFA insurance companies as defendants under an uninsured motorist claim. Both insurance companies provide coverage to the plaintiffs.

Cullman attorney Gaynor St. John, representing the insurance companies, recently filed an answer to Wilson's complaint, arguing Meeks was responding to a "sudden emergency" when the wreck occurred.

As an adult, Meeks has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2007, most of which involves drug offenses and moving violations. He agreed to plead guilty in 2016 to a single count of first degree reckless endangerment after originally being charged with first degree attempted murder. That charge stemmed from a 2015 incident in which Meeks allegedly shot an arrow at an occupied Cullman County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle.

Tiffeny Owens contributed to this story.