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Greenwood man charged with operating under the influence in toddler's death

Johnson County Jail.JPG
Posted at 10:31 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 10:56:01-04

FRANKLIN — A Greenwood man was arrested Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence after he struck and killed a 2-year-old boy in April in a Johnson County mobile home park, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Christopher Lee White, 59, was charged with operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in his blood, according to the Johnson County Prosecutor's Office. White could face up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500.

Isaiah Bonds died April 21 after he was struck by a truck driven by White at the Winterbrook Mobile Home Park near County Road 400 West and County Line Road, just outside Greenwood.

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Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva emphasized in a statement that there was no evidence White was impaired by the substances found in the blood test.

“This was a tragic set of circumstances for both sides, but not every aspect of this tragedy is a crime,” Villanueva said. “Prosecutions must be based on facts and evidence, not the emotional circumstances surrounding the event. While not criminally liable for the death of the young child, White is criminally liable for the substances he allegedly chose to put into his body. It’s that choice which for which we now seek to prosecute him."

White told Johnson County Sheriff's Office deputies that a group of children had been playing in the road when he drove past. He stopped his truck and yelled at the kids to get out of the road, according to court documents.

He got back in his truck and continued down the road when he believed the children were out of the roadway. Soon after, he again saw the same group of children playing in the street as he attempted to pass by in his vehicle.

The boy's grandmother told police she was babysitting 8-9 children at the time of the crash. According to court documents, she said she was on the front porch but had gone inside to look at paperwork before the incident and then heard screaming and calls for help.

Prosecutors said White was not speeding and made a complete stop at the stop sign when Bonds was struck. He could not see the child because the boy was near the front wheel of the truck and he was struck when White made a turn.

White told medical staff he took hydrocodone that day and had a prescription, which officials confirmed. He told investigators he did not want to consent to a chemical test or blood draw because he took Vicodin and Percocet around 6:30 a.m. that day.

Officials obtained a search warrant and a blood draw was performed on White. He is being held at the Johnson County Jail.