Two Teens Killed, One Injured by DUI Suspect

Rachel Withers

Eyewitness News Reporter

Athens, Tenn. (WRCB) - The family of a teen killed by a suspected drunk driver is sharing their story with Eyewitness News.  John Daugherty is one of two teens killed by a suspected drunk driver early Sunday morning.  Both were students at McMinn Central high school.  Daugherty's family hopes their loved ones death will stop drunk drivers in their tracks.

Orange chalk outlines one of the worst accidents McMinn County's seen in years.  Police say William Ottman was driving drunk down Highway 305 early Sunday morning when he crossed the yellow line and hit an SUV carrying teenagers.

"God doesn't give me more than I can handle," said John's mother, Evelyn Daugherty.  "But if he were here, I'd really like to talk to him because I'm not so sure."

John was driving his friends Rachael Slade and Shane Standridge home when the accident happened.  Both John and Rachael were killed instantly.  Shane barely survived.

"It's hard to find, or to give forgiveness, for something there's no sense in," explained John's father, Glenn Daugherty.

Even still, with broken hearts, this family shares their story.  They want their community to know what a suspected drunk driver took from them.

"He's going to be dearly missed, dearly missed, and the void will never be filled," said Evelyn.  "He was just a wonderful person that this man took away."

And, even in their grief, they told Eyewitness News, their thoughts turn to the man police say caused this tragedy.

"I'm angry at the guy," explained Glenn, "But at the same time, I feel for him.  Because even though he didn't lose a loved one, he took the life."

Evelyn agreed saying, "If he can change and put down the alcohol, or make good of this, I hope he does.  Because where one life's lost, I hope another, somehow, is saved."

William Ottman is in the McMinn County jail, charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, possession of marijuana and other drugs.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the teens weren't wearing a seat belt, and if they had been, it may have made a difference.