A man arrested after a fatal ATV crash in Warren County has been formally charged with murder.
A Warren County grand jury last week indicted McKinley Brown, 22, of Burkesville, on charges of murder and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (second offense within 10 years).
Brown was arrested after an ATV rolled into a creek early Jan. 3 near Eden Road, trapping passenger Hope E. Turner, 22, of Bowling Green, underwater.
The sheriff’s office received a call about the crash about 3 a.m. Jan. 3, an arrest citation said.
Deputy Sam Scarborough said in the arrest citation that he was met at the scene by a person on another ATV who pointed out the site of the overturned vehicle. The person said he thought everyone had gotten out of the water, and he left to get blankets, the citation said.
Scarborough then drove until he reached a wooded area at the end of a field, then followed a trail until he reached the bank of a creek where two ATVs were parked with their lights on.
“I made my way down the water and I ran into McKinley Brown,” Scarborough said in the citation. “Brown was wet all over and very upset.”
The deputy asked Brown where the overturned ATV was located, and he pointed toward the creek bank, saying he drove the vehicle and that Turner was in the water.
Scarborough made his way to the site and saw lights shining under the water.
There, he spoke to a witness, Thomas Slaughter.
“Slaughter advised (Turner) had been under the water for at least 15-20 minutes,” Scarborough said in the arrest citation. “Slaughter stated Brown was driving the ATV and the female was the passenger. Slaughter stated he did not see them drive into the water, but heard Brown screaming for help.”
Scarborough went back to his cruiser and encountered Brown, who said he was cold and wanted inside the vehicle, the citation said.
The deputy drove Brown toward emergency personnel who had arrived and returned to the crash site.
Turner was unresponsive when she was freed from the ATV. She and Brown were taken to The Medical Center.
Empty beer cans were found in the ATV and floating in the water, the citation said.
At the hospital, a blood sample was taken from Brown and he gave a statement to law enforcement.
Brown was arrested initially on a less serious charge of second-degree manslaughter and DUI. He was booked into Warren County Regional Jail on Jan. 4 and posted a $25,000 cash bond the same day, court records show.
An arraignment is set for June 22 in Warren Circuit Court.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.