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Truck driver charged in 2012 fatal crash

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — A Warner Robins truck driver has been charged in the August collision that killed a man driving a Nissan Maxima.

John Preston Pitts, 47, surrendered to police this week on a second degree vehicular homicide charge and a stop sign violation, both misdemeanors. Police charged him in the crash that killed Juan Yournet, 33.

Pitts made his first appearance in Clayton County Magistrate Court Tuesday with his attorney, Seth Kirschenbaum. Judge Tammi Long Hayward set a $5,500 bond on the charges but Kirschenbaum argued for a reduction to $1,000.

Kirschenbaum told Hayward that Pitts has been married 12 years, has been a truck driver for more than 18 years and has no prior accidents. Kirschenbaum said Pitts has "completely" cooperated with the police investigation and that Yournet should bear some of the responsibility for causing the crash.

"He was speeding into a curve when he hit the side of the truck Mr. Pitts was pulling out of the terminal," said Kirschenbaum. "He didn't see him coming. Marijuana was found inside his car, there were no skid marks so maybe he was distracted. Mr. Pitts was crashed into by a car going at a high rate of speed."

Police said Yournet was driving a 2009 Nissan Maxima just before 5 a.m. on Anvil Block Road as Pitts was pulling a 2012 International Prostar Plus truck with a double trailer away from a terminal at Saia Trucking. Police said Yournet slammed into the trailer.

Hayward said she took all the background information into consideration in setting the bond.

"A death did occur," she said. "I need to make sure Mr. Pitts has the incentive to return to court. I am not inclined to reduce bond but it could be considered at the preliminary hearing."

Pitts told Hayward he'd be able to post bond.