Giannini won't be charged in deadly December 2012 crash - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Giannini won't be charged in deadly December 2012 crash

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

No charges will be filed in the deadly December 2012 accident caused by former Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Bill Giannini.

On Dec. 22, 2012, Giannini hit the back of a Chevrolet Malibu that stopped for an accident ahead. The Malibu hit a Ford F-150 pickup, a highway cable barrier, and landed on its right side, killing 8-year old Quindarious McGhay.

The accident happened on Interstate 40 near the Fayette County line.

Tennessee Highway Patrol traffic report:

Colby Stinebaugh was driving in the right lane, like thousands of other motorists on I-40 West in Shelby County when an accident in front of him caused traffic to stop. Stinbaugh witnessed the accident to his left.

"It was definitely kind of scary, I'd say horrific," he said. "Very intense, dramatic."

The car Giannini rear-ended carried a family from Memphis returning from Christmas shopping in Nashville. The impact of the crash so powerful the vehicle flipped on its side.

Quindarious had to taken by helicopter to the hospital as emergency crews treated his mother and aunt on the ground.

The frantic effort unfolded in front of Giannini in eyesight of Stinebaugh.

"At one point, we was in tears," Stinebaugh said. "I don't know if that is when the police were talking to him or not."

What caused a respected and well-connected public official to rear-end a car, sending three people to the hospital?

"I overheard him with a police officer say, he leaned over to pick something up from the passenger seat, the ground by the passenger seat," Stinebaugh recalled.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol report Giannini told troopers "he dropped his sunglasses, reached down to pick them up and saw that the car in front of him was stopped. He was swerved but still impacted the rear end of vehicle."

"He didn't know why traffic had been stopping. He didn't know that it had been stopping," Stinebaugh said.

Police tested Giannini for alcohol and drugs. By that time, Stinebaugh believes Giannini knew the crash victims had been seriously injured and feared the little boy might die.

"Once everything kind of sunken in, he was definitely emotionally broken," Stinebaugh said.

In a statement released Friday by Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said here was insufficient evidence to charge Giannini or anyone in the traffic accident.

"This office has reviewed the Tennessee Highway Patrol's investigation of the traffic accident that resulted in the death of young Quindarious McGhay," DAG Weirich said in a statement. "There is insufficient evidence to criminally charge anyone at this time in this tragic situation."

Giannini, who was also the former Chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, is now the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Efforts to contact Giannini by phone for comment were unsuccessfully despite several attempts.


FOX13 News anchor Greg Coy contributed to this report.


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