Police say pills might've impaired driver in fatal crash

Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 1:00pm
Staff reports

Prescription pills may have impaired the driver who initiated a fatal crash that killed 68-year-old Velma Burkhart Thursday morning.

Steven Allen, 30, allegedly told crash investigators that he took both Xanax and hydrocodone pills Wednesday night, before his 2011 Hyundai Sonata crossed the center line on Clarksville Pike after 8 a.m. Thursday and ran head-on into the 2008 Chevrolet Impala Burkhart was driving.

Burkhart, of Indian Mound, Tenn., was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she later died. Her husband James Burkhart, 74, who was a passenger in the Impala, and Allen were also transported to Vanderbilt with non-life threatening injuries.

Police said Allen and the Burkharts were all wearing seatbelts. Toxicology tests will help determine what role, if any, alcohol or drugs played in the collision. 

Police said they found a bottle of hydrocodone pills in Allen’s pocket. 

Filed under: City News