HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A man was arrested Wednesday in connection with a crash that killed two people and injured five others.
27-year-old Jacob Stephens of Athens was charged with two counts of reckless murder, two counts of first-degree assault – DUI, and one count of reckless endangerment related to the crash.
The three-vehicle crash happened on I-565 E on November 27, 2021. At that time, Huntsville Police confirmed two people were killed, 47-year-old Arlene Veronica Velasquez and 24-year-old Hannah Parton, and five others injured. Those injured were treated at the hospital and released.
A spokesperson from Huntsville Police said investigators believe the crash was the result of someone going westbound in the eastbound lanes.
Stephens was booked into the Madison County Jail.
The arrest came just one day after a News 19 report on one of the victims, Hannah Parton.
Parton’s family called for justice and sued the person they say was responsible for the crash. A candlelight vigil was held in her memory in Big Spring Park last weekend.
“This past year since November 27, 2021, has been a nightmare,” said Brent Smith, Hannah’s stepfather. “If this happened to your child and nobody was ever arrested and here it is almost a year later, and the person is going about doing their same thing… how would you feel? Huntsville needs to be pissed off about this, they need to be talking to the mayor… going to the chief of police…”
Madison County officials said they became aware of a recent incident involving Stephens that led them to make today’s arrest.
“Our local authorities have had contact with the authorities in Lauderdale County and based on communications with Lauderdale County this decision was made,” said Madison County Chief Assistant District Attorney Tim Gann.
According to the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens was arrested by Florence Police for carrying a pistol without a permit, public intoxication, second-degree marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
“He has continued to engage in dangerous behavior, they had no choice but to arrest him,” Gann continued.