DPS says it will pursue a criminally negligent homicide charge against the young woman involved in an auto-pedestrian wreck in Gregg County Friday morning.
It all happened on State Highway 135 at Crews Road, south of Gladewater, just after 7:30 Friday morning.
"What the preliminary investigation shows is that a vehicle was traveling southbound on State Highway 135, when for whatever reason the driver ran off the road and struck a pedestrian that was walking on the side of the road," said Trooper Jean Dark with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
That pedestrian was 50-year-old Darrell Cannon of Gladewater. Authorities say he was jogging as he did every morning, running east on Crews Road and the north on State Highway 135, running off the road next to traffic traveling south.
Savannah Riley lives on Crews Road and was one of the last to see Cannon Friday morning, running as usual with a big walking stick, as she was dropping her sister off at school.
"Everything was normal," she said. "By the time I got to the school and got back, maybe ten minutes, there was a whole bunch of people at the end of the road, and my sister-in-law called and told me that somebody had got hit by a car, and I had just seen him so I didn't think that it was him, but it ended up being Mr. Cannon."
The driver, 20-year-old Kilgore College student Stormy Scott of Gilmer, told authorities she fell asleep at the wheel. She was driving a 2005 Nissan Murano.
"She ran off the road and kept going. She initially thought she struck a mailbox. Come to find out she had struck a pedestrian," said Trooper John Smith III with the Longview Highway Patrol, who responded to the scene. "The driver ran off the road and she probably went about five feet off the road and actually struck him with her front right."
Cannon was pronounced dead on the scene by a Gregg County Justice of the Peace. Authorities say he was killed instantly.
Authorities say that Cannon was following the law and couldn't have done anything differently to avoid being hit - and Riley says her neighborhood will never be the same.
"I'm going to miss seeing him just coming by and waving. We've been seeing him for years run through here, so I'm definitely going to miss seeing him," she said.
Cannon's family declined to be interviewed on camera, but told us over the phone that he was a "very good and loving man." His body has been taken to the Crowley Funeral Home in Kilgore.
Stormy Scott will not be formally charged with criminally negligent homicide until DPS concludes their investigation, which could take up to ten days. The case will eventually be presented to a Gregg County grand jury. Criminally negligent homicide is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
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