Charges upgraded in deadly wrong-way crash - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Charges upgraded in deadly wrong-way crash

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(WMC-TV) –  It was just a few weeks ago that Jantwnette Smith was remembered by those who knew her best.

"Your smile sealed the deal on our friendship," said one friend while reading a poem.

A vigil was held outside Smith's alma mater, Trezevant High School, where 26 balloons were released into the air for every year of Smith's life.

"Father God, we thank you for letting us assemble," prayed another friend.

Memphis Police say 31-year-old Benjamin Sargent crashed head-on into Smith's car after driving his Ford F-250 the wrong way on Christmas Eve.

The accident happened around 3:30 in the morning on Interstate 40 near Germantown Parkway.

Initially cited for DUI and reckless driving, charges were upgraded this week to vehicular homicide.

According to an affidavit, Sargent told police he had three drinks hours before the crash at the Brookhaven Pub in East Memphis and that he had only been on the road for about 10 minutes before smashing into Smith's car.

Sargent himself suffered only non-critical injuries.

Smith's friends said during their vigil that no one else should lose their life the way she did.

"We just want to bring awareness and share respect to those who lost their lives and to make people think before you pick up those keys, think about the other lives you may be putting in danger," said one of Smith's friends.

Benjamin Sargent bonded out of jail shortly after his arrest Wednesday.

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