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The son of a sitting Springfield alderman could be facing more than six years in prison after he pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide in connection with a 2015 crash that killed a local woman and nearly claimed his life.

The crash was one of three, separate incidents in 2015 that resulted in charges for Jeffrey Kyle Gragg, 29, of Springfield, and all of them involved suspicion of drugs and alcohol, according to Robertson County Assistant District Attorney Jason White, who prosecuted the case.

The most serious of the charges, vehicular homicide, was handed down by the Robertson County Grand Jury last summer.

The indictment was drafted to include two counts, vehicular homicide by intoxication and vehicular homicide by recklessness, but Gragg pled to the latter of the two after proof was shown in court that alcohol was not involved, White said.

Fatal error at 88 miles per hour

The crash that triggered the indictment happened on Kinneys Road near Adams in October of 2015.

Gragg lost control of his 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, causing it to skid off the pavement and roll over multiple times before it came to rest in a farm field about 200 feet off the road, according to the report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP).

“The proof shows he was going 88 miles per hour at the time,” White said.

A passenger in the truck, 31-year-old DeAndrea Barbee, of Springfield, was pronounced dead at the scene after she was partially ejected during the crash, the report said. 

She was not wearing a seatbelt, it noted.

Gragg had to be cut out of the vehicle and was taken by Life Flight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he recovered from critical injuries. 

A traffic stop and chance encounter

Chronologically, the crash was the second of the three incidents that led to Gragg’s charges.

The first was a traffic stop in June, and the second involved a chance encounter with a state trooper at a local gas station in December.

In June, a state trooper noticed Gragg cross a fog line and pulled him over, White said. He noted that Gragg’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit and he had a low level of prescription narcotics in his system at the time.

Gragg pled guilty last week to driving under the influence on first offense in connection with that incident.

►Related: Charges pending in fatal crash near Adams

In December, a state trooper became suspicious of Gragg’s movements as he watched him from inside the gas station, so the trooper approached and started talking to him, White said.

Testing later revealed that Gragg’s blood alcohol level registered at 0.09, “right on the edge of impairment,” White said.

“So he pled guilty to reckless endangerment,” the prosecutor added.

Gragg is the son of Springfield Alderman Jeff Gragg.

He is free on $50,000 bond and is due in court for sentencing on Aug. 25, according to court records.

Reach Nicole Young at 615-306-3570 or nyoung@tennessean.com.
 

 

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