Attorneys: No proof of alcohol use [updated]

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Attorney for victim’s family urges caution

Attorneys for Jimmy Williamson, who was identified this weekend as the driver of the SUV in a May 13, 2016, accident that claimed the life of 15-year-old Lorne Macer, released a statement Monday morning.

Williamson was only officially identified to local media as the driver on Friday, and State Trooper Spokesperson Kevin Cook said the basic crash report indicates that Troopers believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. Troopers Phillip Faulkner and Broderick Bender prepared the report.

But Willamson’s attorneys, Wesley Laird and David Baker of Laird, Baker & Blackstock, LLC, issued a statement Monday morning that said Troopers do not yet have the results of a blood test taken the night of the wreck, and there is therefore no evidence to support alcohol was a contributing factor.

The attorneys’ statement follows:

“Over the weekend, news stories appeared in the media regarding the possible cause of the tragic motorcycle accident on May 13 near Andalusia that took the life of young Lorne Macer. The law firm of Laird, Baker & Blackstock in Opp, as well as our client, Jimmy Williamson, the other driver, would like Mr. Macer’s family to know that our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them for their loss due to this horrible accident involving him and Mr. Williamson.

“We are also concerned though about the misleading information reported in the press. Mr. Williamson stopped and cooperated with Alabama State Trooper officers at the scene. Law Enforcement have a duty to investigate and arrest anyone suspected of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They also have a duty to attempt to test anyone who may have caused the death of another person in an automobile accident, regardless of whether they suspect alcohol. In this case, Mr. Williamson was asked if he would voluntarily submit to a blood test under the supervision of Trooper Faulkner and he did. The results of the blood test are pending and routinely take some time.

“Our client, Mr. Williamson, was not arrested or detained, because there was no evidence of a crime. This does not take away from the death of Lorne Macer or the tragic accident that occurred that night. Law Enforcement will do their due diligence in their investigation and we are confident when all the facts are put together, the investigation and the results will vindicate the officers’ decision not to arrest our client. This matter can then proceed in the civil courts, where a jury may look at all factors, including the fact that the motorcycle did not have proper, working lights and turn signals, as noted on the crash report.

“We encourage people not to sensationalize this accident and tragic loss of Lorne, but to rally around his family in their time of need, and allow all the facts before rushing to judgment. Our client, and our firm, are deeply sorry for the loss of Lorne and are praying for God’s comforting hand to be on them.”

Dothan attorney Ben A. Irwin posted an online response to the statement in which he said he represents Lorne Macer’s family. Irwin asked that anyone with information about the wreck contact him. He also urged caution in posting comments that could be hurtful to Macer’s grieving family.

No charges have been filed against Williamson, and the Trooper spokesman said the case will go to the Covington County grand jury.