NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bassist Robert Todd Harrell of the rock band 3 Doors Down has been charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication after an interstate crash claimed the life of another motorist in the Nashville area, police said.
The 41-year-old musician remained jailed early today in connection with the fatal accident late Friday night on Interstate 40 that left 47-year-old Paul Howard Shoulders Jr. dead, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said.
A police statement said a preliminary investigation showed that Harrell was driving west at a high rate of speed in the Nashville suburb of Hermitage when his car clipped a pickup truck driven by Shoulders. Police said the pickup then went out of control, struck a guardrail, went down an embankment and overturned. Shoulders was ejected.
Authorities said Harrell’s car hit a retaining wall and stopped about a quarter mile away.
Police said Harrell showed signs of impairment when he underwent field sobriety tasks, adding in their statement that “he acknowledged consuming hard cider and taking prescription Lortab” and Xanax.
Shoulders, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at a Nashville hospital, authorities added.
The police statement said Harrell, of Mt. Juliet, also was charged with bringing controlled substances into the jail. Authorities said sheriff’s deputies had discovered a plastic bag concealed in his sock that contained eight Xanax pills, 24 Oxycodone pills and four Oxymorphone pills during a search at the booking room.
Early today, a jail official contacted by The Associated Press said Harrell remained in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond. The official, who declined to be identified by name, said Harrell was not available and jail records didn’t indicate whether he had an attorney.
The official said Harrell faces a court appearance Thursday morning.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time,” said a statement released on the 3 Doors Down website.
The band, which formed in Mississippi in the ‘90s and touts a straight-up rock ‘n’ roll sound with such hits as “Away From The Sun” and “Kryptonite,” did not elaborate on the statement.
Metropolitan Nashville Police, contacted by the AP, said they would have no further information beyond the statement released on a local government website. Authorities reached at a county sheriff’s office said they had no information.