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Whitley woman charged with reckless homicide after crash


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - People quickly called for help after noticing a horrifying scene near the Kentucky-Tennessee line Wednesday.

“There’s a bad wreck on 25,” the caller is heard telling a dispatcher in the 911 recording.

Police say a Grand Marquis was headed north when it tried to pass another car, lost control and slammed into a tree and down an steep embankment.

“Can you tell if anyone is hurt?” the dispatcher asks.

“I’d say they are. They knocked a big tree,” the caller says.

Police say John. E. Faulkner, 45, was found dead in the front passenger seat. When police arrived, the driver was nowhere to be found. Warrants were later issued for Donnetta Bell, 22, of Williamsburg.

“Witnesses and the physical evidence (show that) she was driving her car in an irresponsible and reckless manner,” said Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.

Bell was later found in Jellico, Tennessee and lodged in the Whitley County Jail. Police say they’re not sure what relationship she and Faulkner had or why they were together.

Faulkner lived in Duff, Tennessee, which is just south of Whitley County, Kentucky.

His father is from Whitley County. John, Sr. earned several awards and accolades as both a student-athelete and track coach in the Williamsburg schools and what is now the University of the Cumberlands.

Faulkner’s obituary says the 45-year-old carried on his father’s legacy by earning numerous East Tennessee athletic records in track and field.

Police say Bell is in jail not just because of her actions behind the wheel, but because of what she did or didn’t do afterwards.

“She did not call for help?” WKYT asked Sheriff Harrell.

“No, she didn’t do anything. She just left the scene,” he said.

Bell chose not to talk to WKYT from the Whitley County jail. She is being held on reckless homicide, failure to render and leaving the scene of an accident charges.


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