Brian Seth Carmichael, 25, of Fort Valley, was driving his 2003 Dodge Ram pickup late Sunday when one of its tires somehow got loose and shot 400 yards from an overhead bridge into a trailer park below, Houston County Sheriff’s Lt. Kent Bankston told The Post. The tire struck Kimberly Touchton, 22, who was walking her dog at the time near Georgia State Route 49 and Highway 11. She was likely unaware what hit her, Bankston said.
“It severed her spine,” Bankston said. “It broke her neck and although they did attempt life-saving measures out there on the scene, she was dead when they got to the hospital. I don’t think she even knew what hit her.” Touchton was later pronounced dead at a hospital after being found in the trailer park by her fiancé, Bankston said.
Cops took Carmichael into custody following the accident after finding his truck a quarter-mile from the scene, parked on the side of a road with one of its wheels missing. “So we started putting the pieces of the puzzle together and tracked him down using the truck’s tag,” Bankston said.
Investigators also received an anonymous tip from someone who said that Carmichael told them he thought he “had hit something” while driving, Bankston said. Carmichael, who has been charged with failing to report an accident with injury or death, was ordered held late Monday on $2,600 bond, WMAZ reported.
Deputies believe Carmichael, who has been interviewed by police, “knew what happened” after the tire flew off his truck, but Bankston declined to provide additional details, citing an ongoing investigation.
The veteran deputy said the case was one of the more unusual he had worked in his decades of law enforcement. “Absolutely,” Bankston said when asked if the incident was a freak occurrence. “I’ve been doing this for 33, 34 years and this is probably one of the most, if not the most freak accident I’ve ever seen.”
Touchton, of Fort Valley, was a student at Central Georgia Technical College who worked at a nursing home, according to her Facebook profile. One of her cousins said she had a heart of “gold” and loved just about everyone she met. “She was just too young too kind and too full of life!!!” Candy Nicole Touchton Marberry wrote. “[I’ll] never get over this it’s the worse [heartbreak] I’ll ever experience when life is just ripped from the people u love the most.”