Family wants answers after loved one was killed by 13-year-old driver

David Cheatham
Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 19:49:30-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It was supposed to be a quick errand. 71-year-old David Cheatham had just finished buying items at the O'Reilly Auto Parts store in South Nashville on Friday when things took a deadly turn.

Police say Cheatham was killed when a 13-year-old driver crashed into his car as he was about to leave the parking lot onto Nolensville Pike.

LaDonya Johnson says growing up Cheatham helped raise her. She's heartbroken with how this reckless action ended in her losing her uncle.

"The first thing that came to my mind when I heard about it was why wasn't this child in school? He's 13 years old he should at least be at home doing it virtually," Johnson said.

Johnson tells me Cheatham was a hard-working man. He worked up to three jobs at a time to support his wife and three children. Now that they are all grown up, he moved into the role of doting grandfather.

He was a family man and came from a big family. He had six brothers and sisters.

"At all family gatherings and a comfort for me having him there because his presence was overwhelming," Johnson said, "he will certainly be missed."

It is unclear whose vehicle the teen was driving. Police say the car did not belong to a family member and the investigation continues into how the teen got the vehicle.

The family says while they understand the driver was only 13 years old, actions have consequences.

Prior to this fatal accident, the teens first hit a car on Nolensville Pike and took off to get away from the scene.

He is now charged in Juvenile Court with vehicular homicide by recklessness, driving without a license, and no proof of insurance.