Father arrested after allegedly lying to police about deadly DUI involving his son

Father arrested after son's DUI

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Collierville man is facing charges for allegedly filing a false report after police say he lied about his son’s involvement in a deadly DUI crash back in October.

According to the affidavit, Don Seward, 52, arrived at the scene of the crash Oct. 3 around 1:15 a.m. after Memphis police notified him that a vehicle registered under his name was involved in a deadly crash on Highway 385.

Police say he arrived with is son, 25-year-old James Seward, and told officers that James was at a bar near the University of Memphis where he was beaten and his car was stolen.

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The affidavit reports that James appeared to be intoxicated when they arrived and had scars and bruises consistent with the outcome of the crash. Police say at the time of the deadly crash, James was out on bond for a prior DUI charge.

After further investigation, police learned that Seward picked his son up from a gas station on Winchester and Hacks Cross and drove him to the scene before providing the false report.

A witness advised policed that they heard James admit to crashing the car during a phone call.

Zachary Hargett, 24, a husband and father, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Don Seward was arrested Monday but has since bonded out of jail. He is charged with filing a false police report, being an accessory after the fact to a vehicular homicide and being an accessory after the fact to leaving the scene of a deadly crash.

His attorney, William Massey released a statement Tuesday, saying his client “did what any father would do.”

“He went to get his son when called for help,” said Massey. “He’s charged with being an Accessory After the Fact to a Vehicular Homicide and to Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving a death. He’s also charged with giving false information to police in an effort to hinder his son’ arrest. Yet the undisputed facts show that, after being called by an officer, Mr. Seward drove his son back to the crash scene where the son was arrested.”

James Seward is charged with a DUI, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly crash.

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