MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis firefighter accused of running a red light, crashing into another car and killing the driver will not go to jail.
According to Tennessee state law, Lt. Raymond Glover did not commit a serious crime and cannot go to prison.
Glover is charged with failure to yield, resulting in death. By law, he only faces a $500 fine and losing his license for a year.
District Attorney General Amy Weirich said of cases like these, “Oftentimes accidents are just tragedies where lives are lost, but that doesn’t mean it rises to the level of a felony.”
Prosecutors said Glover ran a red light at Walnut Grove and Mendenhall last month and instantly killed St. Jude employee Josh Bichelman.
Tennessee law says a driver must be impaired or driving recklessly to be face criminal charges in a case like this.
“The more someone is intending to harm someone, the greater the punishment,” State Senator Jim Kyle said.
Officers did not give Glover a sobriety test, because officers they said there was no reason to suspect he was drunk.
That leaves prosecutors little room when it comes to filing charges, unless a change is made in state law.
“Every year the state legislature reviews our criminal statutes to make sure circumstances haven’t changed, technology hasn’t changed…Circumstances haven’t changed, and this will certainly be a situation we will be looking at,” Senator Kyle said.
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When asked if a change needs to be made to the law, Weirich said, “We leave that to the expertise of the legislature.”
Weirich added that each accident is different, and cases where someone intentionally caused the crash or was under the influence are subject to criminal charges.