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YEAR IN REVIEW: Tornadoes dominate beginning of 2012

Published 7:18pm Friday, December 28, 2012

Merchant approached the mayor and council members in February, proposing to donate the house to the town along with a $10,000 check for interior repairs.

The house was appraised at $52,000 in March.

At the time, the council had not decided what to do with the house.

APRIL

Jemison family struck by car

A Jemison Elementary student was killed in a car accident March 31 near Kentuck Park after the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.

Second-grader Haylee Burks, her 28-year-old mother and 3-year-old sister were walking to their car on 5th Street after the event when a black 2008 GMC Sierra pickup struck Burks and her mother and sister, according to authorities.

The driver of the vehicle, Danny Ray Smith, 64, was arrested by Northport P.D. and charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of first-degree assault, said Capt. Loyd Baker with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office homicide unit. Smith was originally charged with DUI, which led to the vehicular homicide charges.

A fourth man walking behind Burks and her family was also struck by Smith’s vehicles but was not hospitalized for injuries.

Burks and her mother and sister were transported to DCH Regional Medical Center.

Burks died at DCH and her mother and sister remained hospitalized.

On April 4, less than a week after Haylee Burks was struck near Kentuck Park in Northport, her parents filed wrongful death lawsuits against Danny Ray Smith.

Following the incident, Smith, 64, was arrested by Northport P.D. and charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of first-degree assault. He was originally charged with DUI, which led to the vehicular homicide charges.

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