Knoxville woman convicted in 2017 deadly hit-and-run

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A guilty verdict was handed down Thursday for seven of nine counts in the case against the driver in a 2017 deadly hit-and-run on the Gay Street Bridge.

A Knox County jury convicted Emily Williams on charges including criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, DUI and attempted evidence tampering.

The victim, Tom Burch, 29, was killed when Williams’ SUV hit him and a friend, Jennifer Ouellette, while they were standing on the side of the bridge in September 2017.

Tom Burch. (Photo courtesy of Mary Clifton/2017)

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with Burch’s mother following Williams’ conviction Thursday.

“They have her. My visiting my son is going to a grave and talking to him or looking at a picture and talking to him or looking at the sky and talking to him, I don’t get to hold him, I don’t get those big bear hugs like I used to,” said Mary Clifton.

Burch’s family had been looking into harsher punishments for DUI offenders, saying that the current system is “broken.”

The family is hoping for more consequences for offenders to stop people from getting behind the wheel after drinking too much.

Williams was convicted of the following charges:

  • Found guilty of Criminally negligent homicide 
  • Found guilty of DUI
  • Found guilty of assault
  • Found guilty of Reckless Endangerment with a deadly weapon
  • Found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death
  • Found Guilty of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury
  • Found Guilty of attempted tampering with evidence

Her sentencing will be in October.

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