Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 12, 2014

Valdosta councilman charged in car wreck

VALDOSTA — A Valdosta city councilman turned himself in to police and was arrested after a single-vehicle traffic incident early Sunday morning, according to Valdosta police.

District 1 Valdosta City Councilman James Wright, 54, has been charged in the case, according to the Valdosta Police Department.

At approximately 3 a.m. Sunday, a Valdosta police officer was traveling south along the 100 block of North Lee Street near the intersection of East Central Avenue where he noticed an abandoned white Ford F-150 truck on the west side of the street. After investigating the vehicle, the officer determined that its front passenger side collided with a utility pole then continued moving forward onto the curb, running over a speed limit sign before coming to a stop at the next utility pole, reports stated.

The officer noted that the right passenger tire, front right bumper, front headlight and right-side mirror had sustained severe damage. The officer also noted that no keys were in the ignition and that the vehicle smelled of alcohol, but no containers were found, according to reports.

The vehicle was registered to James R. Wright, reports stated.

“I was contacted by Mr. Wright Sunday morning through one of his friends who said Councilman Wright made a mistake and was involved in an accident,” said Brian Childress, Valdosta police chief. “He turned himself in and was charged and was taken to the Lowndes County Jail.”

Wright was reportedly the only person in the truck at the time of the collision. He did not remain at the scene because alcoholic beverages had been consumed earlier in the evening, reports stated.

Wright has not been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, said Childress. “The Georgia DUI statute states that a person can only be charged with a DUI within three hours of the incident.”

Wright is charged with accident hit and run, failure to maintain lane and failure to notify owner after striking a fixed object, according to Valdosta

police reports. He was booked at the Lowndes County Jail and later released on bond, according to reports.

“Wright was treated like anyone else is treated. We don’t treat anyone different,” said Childress.

Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson was informed of the arrest Sunday morning but told The Times that any action taken in regards to Wright’s position as a councilman would have to be decided by the City Council.

Text Only
Local News
  • 140422-Dan_Keplinger003.jpg The Art of Determination

    Artist Dan Keplinger invests passion into his frenetic pieces. His line work teems with energy. An unexpected trait in the often technically precise medium of printmaking.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140422-RibbonCutting.jpg Learning center named in Horne’s honor

    Noting his lengthy legacy in educating the region's young people, Valdosta City Schools officially renamed the Pinevale Learning Center Tuesday in honor of the late Maceo A. Horne Jr.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rose: Dismiss ‘Quitman 11’ case

    Following the second mistrial in the case of a Brooks County woman accused of voter fraud, a local civil rights leader has called for the issue to be dismissed, but prosecutors plan to seek prosecution for a third time.

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawsuit challenging Ga. gay marriage ban filed

    A gay rights group filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

    April 23, 2014

  • Commission denies City’s annexation request

    Lowndes County received an annexation request from the City of Hahira for five parcels of land that spanned approximately 66 acres, for the purpose of future development, and because the applicant sought city water and sewer.

    April 23, 2014

  • Confederate Memorial Day observed this weekend

    The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Valdosta Chapter 471, will observe Confederate Memorial Day, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

    April 23, 2014

  • connell book review.jpg Literary Guild hears Fannie Flagg’s latest

    “Reading for fun is great, but learning while reading is super,” Sandra Connell told the Literary Guild at the April meeting.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Performance index tops Lowndes school board meeting

    Lowndes County Board of Education celebrated the results of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index scores during its regular session Monday night.

    April 23, 2014

  • N1401P14008C.TIF Sheriff hosts Prescription Take-Back Day

    The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused medications this Saturday as a part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results