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Driver in fatal hit-and-run free on $71,500 bond

By By William F. West / community editor
Sept. 22, 2002
LIVINGSTON, Ala. A hit-and-run accident near a University of West Alabama fraternity house has resulted in the death of a Butler man and injuries for a Butler woman.
James Ellis Ford, 22, has been charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of an accident, Sumter County Sheriff Johnny Hatter said.
The accident happened Friday about 2 a.m. near the Tau Kappa Epsilon house.
Although Hatter is not the chief investigating officer in the case, he confirmed the arrest and the charges. Hatter said Ford is free on $71,500 bond.
The dead man was identified as Chad Lankford, 29. The injured woman, Joanna Green, 26, was in the University of Mississippi Medical Center's critical care unit on Saturday evening.
Official details of what happened were unavailable Saturday. Livingston police did not have any information available, and Sumter County Coroner Terry Peeler could not be reached for immediate comment. Attempts to reach a university spokesman were also unsuccessful.
But word of the accident spread quickly over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Livingston Mayor Thomas Tartt said Saturday evening that the mood in town is somber.