Putnam authorities file charges in fatal wreck

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

Tracey Rhodes, who was the driver in a fatal car crash last April, turned herself in Monday, July 31 to the Putnam County authorities and was charged with two counts of second degree homicide by vehicle. According to Putnam County Chief Deputy Russell Blenk, if convicted, Rhodes could face up to one year in prison and/or a fine up to $1000.

“These are misdemeanor charges,” said Blenk.

Rhodes, who is still recovering from critical injuries from the accident, bonded out of jail after turning herself in and will appear in the Putnam County courthouse for an initial hearing on September 7.

Rhodes was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee back in April that hydroplaned during a rainstorm on 441, which resulted in a fatal car crash, instantly killed her son, Michael Rhodes, 18, and her son’s girlfriend, Brittany Smith, 19 who were passengers in the vehicle. Tracey Rhodes struck a Jeep Compass driven by Kaitlyn Black when she crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic. Black was also critically injured.

Brittany was a graduate of Morgan County High School and beloved members of the softball team. Michael Rhodes was finishing up his senior year at Morgan County High School at the time of the accident, and was a beloved player on the football team. The deaths sent shock waves of grief across Morgan County High School and the local community.

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