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Hartford 18-year-old indicted on manslaughter charge for fatal June wreck

Hartford 18-year-old indicted on manslaughter charge for fatal June wreck

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HARTFORD — A Hartford 18-year-old is facing felony charges in a June car crash that killed a Florida woman and injured another.

Court records show that a grand jury indicted William Jackson Birdsong on charges of manslaughter and second-degree assault on Oct. 14. He was arrested on Tuesday and was in the Geneva County Jail on Wednesday on bonds totaling $110,000.

A report filed by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Troopers revealed that Birdsong, considered a juvenile before his arrest, was driving a 2013 GMC Sierra when it struck a car driven by 70-year-old Barbara Joyce Spears of Westville, Florida, that was stuck in traffic within a construction zone on Alabama Highway 167.

The crash impact forced Spears’ Impala into the rear end of a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Richard Stephen Cooks, 30, of Elba. The Silverado was then forced into the rear end of 2010 Cadillac Escalade driven by Richard Lee Byers, 55, of Panama City.

As a result, Spears was fatally injured and pronounced dead at the scene. Another person was life-flighted to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Birdsong, who is the son of Geneva County Schools Superintendent Becky Birdsong, is scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 3.


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