Ryan Jewell, former Pelham linebacker, convicted of vehicular homicide in Georgia

Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

DOUGHERTY COUNTY, Ga. Just short of five years ago, Ryan Jewell, then an 18-year-old Pelham High School student and inside linebacker for the Pelham Panthers was involved in a two-car collision that ultimately took the life of two individuals. On Tuesday, March 5, a jury in Dougherty County found Jewell, now age 23, guilty on charges related to that crash.

On the morning of March 26, 2019, Jewell, who was texting-and-driving, failed to stop at a stop sign and drove his Toyota Camry through the intersection of Gravel Hill and Nelms Road at speeds exceeding the posted limit. Those mistakes resulted in him colliding with a Chevrolet Silverado that carried Wesley and Kalvin Hubbard along with two of their other family members.

Following the collision, Jewell’s vehicle struck through a fence and came to a stop in a field off the road. The impact sustained to the Hubbard’s truck caused it to strike a stop sign and overturn before coming to a rest along the same fence.

Ejected from the truck before it came to a stop, Wesley, age 14, died directly as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. His father, Kalvin, also eventually succumbed to injuries caused by the crash a month later on Monday, April 29. The other two members of the Hubbard family also sustained serious injuries.

The trial, which began last month on Monday, Feb. 26, concluded after seven days. According to local reports, the jury deliberated for approximately one hour before reaching a guilty verdict.

The jurors in Daugherty County found Jewell guilty on the following charges:

  • Two counts of first-degree vehicular homicide
  • Four counts of serious bodily injury
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign

Jewell, who was committed to play for Jacksonville State University prior to the accident, now faces up to a maximum of 96 years in prison as a result of his actions. His sentence is forthcoming and may occur as soon as next month.