Memphis father charged after lying to police, son kills man while driving drunk, police say

Memphis father charged after lying to police, son kills man while driving drunk, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officers with the Memphis Police Department have arrested a local father after investigators say he lied about his son driving drunk during a fatal accident.

Oct. 3 around 1:00 a.m., a man was killed by a drunk driver while driving near I-385 and Riverdale Road.

ORIGINAL STORY: One person killed in early morning crash

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Police said the driver fled the scene, leaving his vehicle at the scene of the crash. MPD said the abandoned vehicle was registered to Don Steve Seward.

When officers contacted Seward, he told officers his vehicle was stolen while in his son's possession.

Don Seward brought his son James Dalton Seward to the scene of the crash. Investigators said James appeared to be intoxicated and had injures on his hands and arms which appeared to be consistent to the crash.

Don told MPD, "I picked my son up from a bar near the University of Memphis; he had been drinking there… they must have also beaten him up when they took the car… he was on the side of the Tiger Bookstore."

Investigators said video evidence, an ‘eye-witness,' and a recorded confession from James Seward proved Don's statement to be false. Reports said Don lied in attempt to hinder his son's arrest.

Officers reported Don had actually picked his son James up from a gas station near Winchester and Hacks Cross.

James also admitted that the car had not been stolen, but he crashed the vehicle.

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An eye-witness to the crash told investigators they heard James on the phone with his father saying, "I wrecked the car, I'm sorry."

The witness told police they saw Don pick his son up at a gas station near Winchester and Hacks Cross and recorded it as video evidence.

Police said Don also sent multiple text messages to a known witness, asking the witness to give a false statement to law enforcement.

A text read, "This is Steve call me at this number… anybody ask you Dalton used your phone at Memphis University area."

Don has been charged with false offense report, and two counts accessory after the fact. He's due in court Dec. 3 at 9:00 a.m.