Suspect’s father accused of lying to police after deadly crash

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The father of the man accused in a deadly crash on Highway 385 has now also been charged after police say he lied to cover up his son’s alleged crimes.

Don Seward was charged with filing a false offense report and being an accessory after the fact.

On October 3, Zachary Hargett was killed when he was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Bill Morris Parkway near Riverdale.

A witness told police that the intoxicated driver – later identified by police as 25-year-old James Seward of Collierville – was reportedly traveling more than 100 mph just before the crash. That same witness said they stopped to help James after the crash, and he asked for a ride.

That’s when James allegedly sped away and another driver called 911.

According to police, the car that James was driving at the time belonged to his father Don. After fleeing the scene, James reportedly called his father telling him that he had wrecked the vehicle.

Don was reportedly caught on camera picking up his son a short time later at a gas station near Winchester and Hacks Cross Road.

Police said after learning about the accident, Don called 911 to report that his car had been stolen while in his son’s possession. Don took his son to the crash scene where authorities said the son appeared to be intoxicated and was suffering from lacerations to his hands and arms.

It was then that Don allegedly told investigators that he had picked up James at a bar near the University of Memphis. He said his son had been drinking and that the suspects “must have also beaten him up when they took the car.”

James later admitted to police that the car had not been stolen and that he was the one who crashed it.

That, along with eye witness testimony, text messages and recorded video proved that Don had lied to them, police said.

Don was arrested on Monday.

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