Troup County mother pleads not guilty in fatal wreck

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2015

By Tyler H. Jones

Megan Lindsay Lindsay

Marsha Lindsay Lindsay

LaGRANGE — A Troup County mother who is accused of DUI when her teenage daughter died in a car wreck in October pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide charges Monday in Troup County Superior Court.

Marsha R. Lindsay, 37, waived her arraignment before Superior Court Judge Dennis Blackmon and entered her plea through her attorney, Peachtree City-based Cindy Manning of the law firm Manning Legal Group.

Manning told the Daily News by phone she is continuing to investigate the Oct. 2 wreck that killed 14-year-old Megan Lindsay on West Point Road; she said it is too early in the case to make any further comment.

The Troup County Clerk of the Court’s office scheduled Marsha Lindsay’s next appearance in superior court for Dec. 14, and a jury trial could possibly begin that week.

A Troup County grand jury in June indicted Marsha Lindsay on charges of homicide and serious injury by vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to use safety belts and failure to maintain lane, according to records from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office. The indictment alleges she was driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams when the wreck occurred. The legal limit in Georgia for DUI is 0.08 grams blood alcohol content.

The crash occurred on West Point Road south of LaGrange shortly before 2 a.m. when Marsha Lindsay lost control of her Lexus ES330, according to a Georgia State Patrol crash report.

The crash report states Marsha Lindsay veered outside her lane, clipped a mailbox, may have over-corrected and fishtailed into a ditch, flipping the car several times before it landed upside down. GSP troopers suspect alcohol may have been a factor in the accident, according to their crash report.

At the scene of the accident, Marsha Lindsay told law enforcement officers that her daughter was in the process of climbing from the back seat to the front seat when the crash occurred, the crash report states. Marsha Lindsay was apparently alarmed by her daughter and thought there was a deer in the road. She “snatched the wheel and slammed on the brakes,” the report reads.

Megan Lindsay was thrown from the vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries. She was flown to the Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children in Atlanta, where she died Oct. 8.

By all accounts, the freshman volleyball player was well-liked by her classmates and was popular in her class at Troup High School.

“You never really saw her not smiling,” said Savannah Laney, a teammate and cousin of Megan Lindsay who spoke with the Daily News in 2014. “She was always laughing and skipping around. She never walked slow. She always skip and ran.”

Friends described her as a big-hearted teenager who brightened up a room when she entered it.

“She always had a skip in her step,” fellow freshman Laurel Jones said.

Marsha Lindsay remains out of jail on bond while the Coweta Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office and her attorney review the evidence in the case.

In Georgia, a person commits homicide by vehicle if he or she, without malice, forethought or intention, causes the death of another person by vehicle. A first-degree charge is a felony and applies when the death occurs while meeting or overtaking a school bus, or if the driver is reckless, intoxicated or fleeing police, according to Georgia law.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.