Driver facing homicide charge
Thu, Feb 22, 2007By EMILY STRANGERThe Brunswick NewsA Waynesville man has been charged in connection with a January car accident on the F.J. Torras Causeway that left one woman dead. Joel Christopher Dixon Jr., 24, is facing charges of second degree homicide by vehicle, driving with a suspended license and operating an improperly equipped vehicle on the roadway.Glynn County police arrested Dixon Wednesday.If convicted on the homicide charge, Dixon could face a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Karen Simpson, a resident of St. Simons Island and a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center employee, was killed Jan. 17 when the trailer Dixon was pulling came loose from his vehicle.Simpson was driving westbound on the Back River Bridge when the flatbed trailer became unhitched and crossed over the centerline of the causeway, striking her vehicle.The SUV rolled several times, ejecting Simpson from her seat and onto the roadway. "The charges were derived out of the initial investigation," said Capt. Jim Kelly of the Glynn County Police Department. "Dixon was operating a motor vehicle that had an improperly equipped trailer."The trailer had safety chains, but they weren't attached, Kelly said.The truck also had an undersized ball for the trailer it was pulling. "The truck's ball was 1 7/8-inches, and the trailer was made to be pulled by a 2-inch ball," Kelly said. Unlike first degree vehicular homicide – which is a felony – second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor.