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THP: Businessman was drunk when he hit & killed bicyclist

6:49 PM, Jul 13, 2011   |    comments
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  • Katelin Richardson
  • Dan Ford/file
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A Cocke County Election Commissioner is charged with DUI and Vehicular Homicide.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Dan Ford hit a bicyclist Tuesday night in Newport. The cyclist, Katelin Richardson, died from the accident.

Richardson was here in Tennessee for the summer working for Smoky Mountain Outdoors White Water Rafting Company.

Daniel Jennette is the owner of Smoky Mountain Outdoors. He said Richardson was a rafting guide there for the last two months.

"There is really no good way to explain it. We lost one of our family members," said Jennette. 

Richardson was from Vermont and played soccer while at Springfield College and played for the Vermont Voltage. She majored in Physical Therapy. 

Jennette said she biked twenty miles a day to and from Cosby to see a friend. 

He believes she was on her way back to Hartford when she was hit.

"For one of our people to be out doing what they do and to lose their life over it is just terrible," explained Jennette.

Dan Ford is currently on the Cocke County Election Commission. In 2008 he ran unsuccessfully for the 11th district seat in the Tennessee House. He is the former chairman of the Cocke County Republican Party. He is CEO and founder of Aero-Pro, a recycled rubber business his family operates in Cosby. Ford is also Chairman of Eagle Plastics in Newport.

Ford was released from jail on $50,000 bond Wednesday afternoon. He did not return our phone calls for comment.

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A Cocke County businessman is charged with DUI and vehicular homicide after a fatal crash Tuesday night.

A report filed by the Tennessee Highway Patrol states that Dan Ford was driving a truck on Highway 73 in Newport when he hit two bicyclists from behind.

The crash killed Katelin Richardson, 21, of Vermont.  The other cyclist who was hit did not have any injuries.

Richardson was in East Tennessee working as a river rafting guide.  Her boss told 10News she often biked to Cosby to visit a friend and she was on her way back when she was struck.  She had graduated from school where she majored in physical therapy and was going to play professional soccer for the Vermont Voltage.

Ford ran for the Tennessee house in 2008. He also served as chairman of the Cocke County Republican party for several years.

Ford started a couple of successful businesses in Cocke County. He is CEO and founder of Aero-Pro, a recycled rubber business his family operates in Cosby.

Ford is also chairman of Eagle Plastics in Newport.

 

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