Police: Limo Driver In Double Fatal, Possibly Impaired

3:47 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
Will and Jamie Reid, of Philadelphia, are shown on their wedding day on May 26. The couple died in a wreck in Asheville on Aug 13. Special to the Citizen-Times
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ASHEVILLE, N.C.-- City police suspect a limousine driver involved in a crash in which a young couple in his vehicle died may have been impaired by drugs, according to an accident report.

In the report filed by the Asheville Police Department, investigators noted that while driver Rodney Koon was not believed to be under the influence of alcohol, they suspect he was impaired by other drugs. Koon was tested for drugs, but results are pending, according to the report.

Asheville police Sgt. Dave Romick declined to comment on the report Sunday, citing the ongoing investigation.

According to the accident report, "The investigation is still ongoing to determine the physical condition of the driver as well as the speed at impact."

Koon, 45, suffered "life-threatening injuries" in the Aug. 11 crash on Interstate 26, according to the report. He remains hospitalized at Mission Hospital, but his condition is not available to the media.

Will Reid, 26, and his wife, Jamie Reid, 25, who were riding in the back seat of Koon's Lincoln Town Car, died as a result of the wreck, which happened when the car veered off the interstate and struck a tree.

The Philadelphia couple, who were both teachers, had been married less than three months and were in town to attend a friend's wedding. The couple were being driven to Asheville Regional Airport for a return flight home when the wreck happened.

A search warrant filed last week shows police were given authority to retrieve data from Koon's cell phone. Investigators noted on the warrant they "believe Koon's cellular telephone will help establish a timeline of the events leading up to the collision."

And the phone "may contain GPS coordinates which could give speed and location of the vehicle prior to and during the collision," according to the warrant.

The warrant listed misdemeanor death by vehicle as a possible crime and noted, "Koon's actions directly contributed to the collision."

Police previously obtained a search warrant to allow officers to search the Lincoln. Among items seized was a digital recording device in the car's electrical system that could reveal speed and other details of the car's operation just before the collision.

According to the accident report, Koon and the Reids all were wearing seatbelts when the wreck happened. Investigators estimated the car was traveling the speed limit - 55 mph - when it left the road and went down an embankment. The report noted the car traveled 871 feet after it left the road before impact with the tree and that police had no estimate for the speed at impact.

Koon operates A Premier Transporation Service Inc. and regularly took air travelers to and from the airport. His company holds an airport permit allowing the service.

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