Crime

Grand jury indicts Macon teen in summer traffic death

A Bibb County teenager was driving in excess of 40 miles over the posted speed limit in July when his car crashed on Zebulon Road, killing his 17-year-old passenger, according to an indictment filed Tuesday.

Grand jurors voted to indict 18-year-old Grant Matthew Hoffman, charging him with vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Abby Hinson died as a result of the July 23 crash.

District Attorney David Cooke said prosecutors, knowing Hoffman is out of state traveling with his parents, brokered a deal with Hoffman's lawyer for him to turn himself in after he returns to Macon next week. Mercer University's basketball team, coached by Hoffman's father, played Colorado State on Sunday and is set to play in the Great Alaska Shootout later this week.

Terms of the deal include a $25,000 bond with a requirement that Hoffman abide by a 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew with exceptions for attending school, doctor's appointments or religious services. He also can't drive while on bond, Cooke said.

Cooke said such a deal is "not uncommon when the defense agrees with the terms and conditions" sought by prosecutors.

He said the bond and conditions are typical to bonds and conditions set in similar cases.

Hoffman was driving a 2008 Nissan Altima on Zebulon Road, about two miles north of the Interstate 475 interchange when he tried to negotiate a curve at about 11:50 p.m. July 23, according to an accident report previously released by authorities.

The car fishtailed and skidded about 319 feet, more than the length of a football field, before striking several trees near the intersection of Colaparchee Road. The car traveled another 201 feet after impact, according to the report.

At some point, the car rolled and air bags deployed.

Deputies have attributed speeding -- driving too fast for conditions -- as a contributing factor for the wreck. Hoffman told deputies he was traveling at 65 to 70 mph, according to the report.

Tuesday's indictment alleges that Hoffman's speeding was "in reckless disregard of the safety of persons and property" and notes that the crash occurred at night.

If convicted, Hoffman could face up to 15 years on the vehicular homicide charge and up to a year for reckless driving.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. Check back at macon.com for more on this story.

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