Driver pleads guilty to murder after a car crash in the Smokies

Date: April 21, 2015
Contact: Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761

Trees along a roadway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. NPS photo by J Bennett.
Trees along a roadway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

NPS photo by J Bennett

Driver pleads guilty to murder after a car crash in the Smokies

Special Agents with the Investigative Services Branch helped bring about the conviction of a man charged with second degree murder in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Corey Bruce Patrick pleaded guilty in April to the charges stemming from a car crash in October of 2014. Sentencing is expected to take place in late August.

Responders found that Patrick had driven the car head-on into a tree. The passenger was the car's owner, and she had sent a text message a minute before the crash saying "he's driving fast and crazy." The passenger suffered multiple blunt-force injuries and died on scene. Patrick told rescuers that he'd been drinking alcohol before the high-speed crash.

The Special Agents gathered evidence and presented a strong case to the US Attorney, resulting in a murder charge rather than the initial charge of driving under the influence. During sentencing, the federal judge will rule on prison time and possible fines and restitution.

ISB is on the web at www.nps.gov/isb 

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Last updated: December 2, 2015