East TN soldier victim of hit and run by fellow soldier

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV/WBIR) - An East Tennessee soldier passed away Saturday after authorities said a fellow soldier struck and killed him with a car while walking on a road in Middle Tennessee.

Authorities said Capt. David Elliott struck and killed 21-year-old Pfc. Austin McReynolds with a car on Tylertown Road in Clarksville, Tenn. Clarksville Police Department said Elliott then fled the scene. The hit-and-run occurred between 2:30 and 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Capt. David Elliott, 26, was arrested Saturday night and charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence (2nd offense), driving on a suspended license, and immediate notice of accident.

Authorities said both soldiers had been at O'Connors Irish Pub and Grill before the hit-and-run took place. McReynolds was walking east bound on Tylertown Road for an unknown reason when he was struck and killed. The incident happened within half a mile of the pub where the two had been.

McReynolds' body was discovered by a pedestrian at 5:11 a.m. Saturday morning.

Seven hours later, authorities searched the area and found a 2008 Ford Expedition with fresh front end damage consistent with a collision with a pedestrian. Elliott was identified as the vehicle's owner. He admitted to drinking alcoholic beverages at the pub before driving his vehicle onto Tylertown Road where he said he struck a deer.

McReynolds graduated in 2010 from Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville.

"This morning whenever we found out, the pastor actually told the congregation and told them what happened," said friend Jon Marshall . "And as a congregation, as a family, we prayed for him and the family."

His father, Greg McReynolds, spoke to 10News on Sunday. He described his son as an East Tennessee boy who loved to hike, camp, and be on the lake.

He said last week was Austin's 21st birthday.

He said Austin attended Pellissippi State Community College for a while before joining the military in 2012. He spent his basic training in South Carolina and then trained as a combat medic in San Antonio until late 2012. Since this year, Austin was based out of Fort Campbell.

Grace Christian Football Coach Randy McKamey told 10News that Austin played football for him all four years during high school.

"I spoke with him, came down for the senior night for Grace Football. And as they lost their last chance to go to state -- I walked past him and hugged him and shook his hand," Marshall added. "And I remembered it today, the last time was when I talked to him -- it was that moment."

Pfc. Austin McReynolds was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, while Capt. Elliott was stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Elliott is being held without bond until a hearing in a Montgomery County court on Monday morning.


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