Godmother of local author killed in hit-and-run remembers him as family man

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 11:04:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The family of the man killed in a hit-and-run incident in Gallatin is preparing for his visitation and candlelight vigil.

On Thursday, Bell's godmother Kandi Marthel, told Newschannel 5 she continues to grieve.

"Words can't express what I feel right now. I feel empty l inside, I feel devastated how did this happen," Marthel said.

On Monday afternoon, Gallatin police said Bell was jogging on Joslin Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle. The driver, 28-year-old, Dwain Mitchell Patton, was located a short distance away from the scene. Police said Patton was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene with serious bodily injury.

"We actually observed a syringe in his hand, the vehicle was still in drive and running and he was unresponsive behind the wheel of the vehicle in the driver's seat. All those things would lead you to think that somebody's possibly impaired by a drug," Gallatin police investigator Charles Cook said.

Cook said Patton has been convicted for two prior DUIs. On Sunday, he was out on bond for a 3rd DUI before Monday's incident.

"He was just loved to us. He respected us. He showed us love. We showed him love. And now he can be up there with his biological mother, he's at rest now, he loved his mother," Marthel said.

The family will hold a visitation for Bell on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the SAG Funeral Home on Buchanan Street in Nashville.