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Driver sentenced to 12 years in prison after wreck that severely injured two

POSTED: February 12, 2008 5:03 a.m.

A Gainesville man was sentenced to 12 years in prison this week after being convicted of severely injuring two people when he caused a wreck while under the influence of methamphetamine.

Kent Lawrence Gravitt, 39, was convicted of eight counts of serious injury by vehicle, driving under the influence, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane and improper passing after a three-day jury trial in Hall County Superior Court. Judge Kathlene Gosselin sentenced Gravitt, a repeat offender, to 30 years, with 12 years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation, Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said.

Gravitt will not be allowed to drive during the length of his probation, Darragh said.

According to court testimony, on Feb. 17, 2006, Gravitt was driving his Chevrolet pickup truck recklessly on Ga. 365 when he caused an accident by running off onto the shoulder of the road and veering back into traffic. A motorist who swerved to avoid Gravitt crashed in a head-on collision with a third car.

The driver, 28-year-old Nathan Lewis Williams, sustained serious brain injuries and was unconscious in an Atlanta hospital for six weeks. He has undergone numerous surgeries and has been unable to return to his job as an information technology worker since the accident, Darragh said.

Another victim, 20-year-old Jessica Kelly McDougald, had a broken arm and a shattered heel as a result of the accident, Darragh said.

A Hall County jury took just 20 minutes deliberating Wednesday night before finding Gravitt guilty on all 12 counts, Darragh said.



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