Jury acquits doctor in fatal crash

A Richmond County Superior Court jury deliberated less than 30 minutes Thursday before acquitting an Augusta physician of charges that included vehicular homicide.


The jury found Peter Alexander McNally, 32, not guilty of all charges stemming from a vehicular crash that left a motorcyclist dead and his passenger gravely injured.

McNally, according to evidence presented during the four day trial, had a blood alcohol level of .116 two hours after the fatal crash that killed 52-year-old Ronald Lovett and left Elizabeth Landers seriously injured. In Georgia – as Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers argued to the jury in his closing statement Thursday – a driver is presumed to be under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08.

But McNally told the jury this week that he felt fine to drive home, about a mile from the Hooters which he left minutes before the crash. He said he drank about six beers on a full stomach during a three and a half hour period.

The June 24, 2015, crash between NcNally’s vehicle and Lovett’s bike occurred in the center of the intersection at Washington Road and Alexander Drive. The bike, traveling west on Washington Road, hit the car nearly head-on. McNally told the investigating deputy and wrote in his statement that the light for Washington Road was yellow when he started to turn left onto Alexander Drive.

In his closing statement to the jury, defense attorney Michael Garrett stressed the evidence that showed Lovett had so much methamphetamine in his blood system that night that it would have been a fatal dose for a new user. “The fault begins and ends there,” he said.

It wouldn’t have mattered if McNally had been completely sober, the crash would have still occurred because Lovett was so high he ran the red light and hit McNally, Garrett said. Maybe the reason McNally didn’t see Lovett was because his bike didn’t have a working headlight, he argued to the jury. The pictures of the bike taken after the wreck doesn’t show any headlight, he said.

The bike, according to photographs taken at the scene of the crash, was in pieces.

Reach Sandy Hodson at sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com or (706) 823-3226

B. M. Michales 11 months ago
Money can buy anything.
Apollo Sayer 11 months ago
Wonder how he could have managed that since the only thing he could have bought was a decent attorney. It couldn't have been that he wasn't at fault in this accident and that the person at fault was the guy who died.

Oh, no. It couldn't be that justice was served, because, well, it was a doctor who got off, after all, so it must mean he bought the verdict.

Shaking my head.

B. M. Michales 11 months ago
A good attorney with political connections goes a long way. You must not be too up on how justice is really carried out in ARC.
B. M. Michales 11 months ago
Read the article in the  paper today, about the other motor cycle accident, and you will get a better understanding about my post.
Sam Bailey 11 months ago
I wonder what the outcome would have been if they all were sober...

Val White 11 months ago

Good question.  I was appalled when I read the headline. 

 In my youth, I always "felt fine" after 6 drinks.  I knew I could always drive better when infused with alcohol.  I wonder if everyone can use that defense - "I felt fine!" - in the future with an over-the-limit BA test.

ANTHONY FULMER 11 months ago
Richmond County juries are not convicting rapists and drunk drivers who kill people. I am wondering why??!!??
George Withershine 11 months ago
What a BS VERDICT!!!!!!
William Morris 11 months ago
Sure B. M., He hired a good lawyeer but the fact still remains that the driver of the motorcycle did not have a headlight which is required to be on all the time and he was very high on meth. I would have voted to aquit him even if he had a sorry attorney. The fault lies with the motorcycle driver.
B. M. Michales 11 months ago
Two wrongs does not make a right. DUI is drunk driving. Had the good doctor not been drunk he may have been able to react quicker and avoid the accident.
Roland SASSER 11 months ago
I'm going to remember that full meal, felt fine line! OK, he skated on the wreak, what about driving under the influence? Money talks folks!
B. M. Michales 11 months ago
Yes it does.


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