12 years for driver in crash that killed longtime Gibbs Elem teacher

KNOXVILLE - The driver involved in a head-on crash that killed a retired longtime Gibbs Elementary School teacher and coach pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, WBIR 10News has learned.

William Joshua Christian, 29, was initially charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, aggravated assault and driving under the influence.

On Sept. 28, his attorney and state prosecutors worked out a plea agreement. Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bobby McGee then sentenced Christian to 12 years in prison.

He gets credit for the roughly eight months already served in the Knox County jail. He’s eligible for parole in about four years.

Larry Graham, who taught physical education for more than 40 years in the Knox County Schools system, died in the Aug. 17, 2015 crash.

Graham, who spent 27 years of his career at Gibbs Elementary School, was 78.

He was in the backseat of the car at the time of the accident. His wife and sister-in-law, who was driving, were in the front.

Authorities say the trio were traveling east on East Emory Road when Christian made a U-turn, crossed the middle turn lane and collided into them.

When asked about the plea agreement, Christian’s attorney Lance Baker told WBIR: “It was a tough day for all parties involved. It was a just resolution for both Mr. Christian and Mr. Graham’s family.”

(© 2016 WBIR)


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment