Jury will decide whether or not to indict the teenage driver involved in fatal January wreck

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 6, 2006

The district attorney's office will present the grand jury its findings in the case of a Greenville teenager who died during a January automobile accident.

Lewis Daniel Spann, 16, was ejected from a 2002 Ford Mustang on Airport Road on Jan. 20. Spann was a passenger in the vehicle, which was driven by another 16-year-old.

The grand jury will be looking at rather or not the driver was somehow indirectly responsible for Spann's death, according to District Attorney John Andrews.

The district attorney's office could present its findings on Wednesday at the earliest, said Andrews.

&#8220We'll present (to the grand jury) what we have,” he said. &#8220I can't tell you exactly what will come out of it, but hopefully it will prevent something like this in the future. It's not the first time where we've had something this tragic happen.”

Andrews said depending on what the grand jury decides the case would likely be handled through juvenile court.

&#8220It really could be left up to us and the juvenile probation officer,” he said. &#8220We can take driver's licenses and we can administer community service and we have done this in the past.”

According to police reports, the driver swerved to avoid a deer and lost control of the vehicle on the wet roadway.

Lt. Gary Martin said the driver told him he jerked the wheel of the car upon seeing the deer and the vehicle then went airborne, hitting a light pole and coming to rest in a ditch near Century Steps Inc.

Both the driver and Spann were ejected through the passenger side window.

Police said neither teenager was wearing a seatbelt. The driver was not charged with any violations.

The driver received minor injuries, was treated and later released from L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital. Spann was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital.

Daniel Spann, Danny's father, said he believed the driver deserves to be penalized. He said he thought the driver was recklessly speeding the night his son was killed.

&#8220I want him to pay for his actions,” he said. &#8220My wife and I feel he deserves something through the judicial system.”

Spann said he was not notified by law enforcement or the hospital about his son's accident.

&#8220We didn't get to tell him we loved him,” he said. &#8220My son was dead by the time I got there (the hospital). I'll never forget it.”

Spann said his son loved baseball and football. Danny was a baseball player for Greenville High School. The team served as pallbearers at his funeral.

&#8220He played (baseball) every season, from the time he was at the YMCA until he got to high school,” he said. &#8220We supported him in it all.”

He said Danny rarely gave his parents any trouble.

&#8220Never,” Spann said. &#8220He always got good grades. No trouble at all, nothing but regular old boy stuff.”