Driver charged in deadly Highway 385 accident was out on bond for DUI charge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 25-year-old Collierville man faces multiple charges after a crash that killed a young father on Highway 385 early Thursday morning.

James Seward was charged with failure to maintain due care, DUI, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and vehicular homicide.

Police say Seward was out on bond from a previous drunk driving charge when he allegedly hit and killed the man.

First responders said when they arrived at the two-vehicle crash on Bill Morris Parkway near Riverdale the driver of a red Ford Focus was unresponsive. The driver was later pronounced deceased.

Zachary Vaughn Hargett (Courtesy of Vaughn's family)

Family identified the victim as Zachary Vaughn Hargett. He was about to turn 25 next month, was married and had a six-year-old daughter. Hargett was thrown from his car after hitting a guard rail.

"This is so hard for our family," said Hargett's mother-in-law, Christina Cimics. "My daughter and him had a love like no other I've seen in my life. They were true soul mates and best friends. It's so devastating."

One witness told police Seward sped past them on the highway going more than 100 mph. That same witness says they stopped to help Seward after the crash, and he asked for a ride.

That’s when police say Seward took off and another driver called 911. Investigators tracked Seward down and say he admitted to causing the crash.

Police said Seward had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol when he was detained. He even told authorities "I had a couple of drinks .... I crashed my car into the wall."

Documents WREG received Friday from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation show Seward was charged with another DUI in Collierville just six weeks ago.

Collierville Municipal Court Clerk Patrick Lafferty said he was out of jail on a $750 bond.

We went by Seward’s house Friday morning for comment but no one answered.

Seward is scheduled to be in court Tuesday to face a judge for the first DUI charge. He’ll appear in court on the most recent charges in the coming weeks.

Zachary Vaughn Hargett (Courtesy of Vaughn's family)

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.