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3 Doors Down bassist charged with vehicular homicide

todd_harrell.jpg

April 20, 2013: Robert Todd Harrell, 41, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, is shown in this Metropolitan Nashville Police Department photo released. Harrell, the bassist for rock band 3 Doors Down, has been charged with vehicular homicide after he was involved in a crash that killed another driver, Nashville police said on Saturday. (Reuters)

Bassist Robert Todd Harrell of the rock band 3 Doors Down has been charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication after an interstate crash claimed the life of another motorist in the Nashville area, police said.

The 41-year-old musician remained jailed early Sunday in connection with the fatal accident late Friday night on Interstate 40 that claimed the life of 47-year-old Paul Howard Shoulders Jr., the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said.

The police statement said a preliminary investigation showed Harrell was driving west at a high rate of speed when his car clipped a pickup truck driven by Shoulders near Hermitage, a Nashville suburb. Police said the pickup then went out of control down an embankment and overturned, ejecting Shoulders.

Authorities said Harrell's car struck a retaining wall and stopped about a quarter mile away.

The police statement said Harrell showed signs of impairment when he underwent field sobriety tasks, adding "he acknowledged consuming hard cider and taking prescription Lortab and Zanax." Police said Harrell struck a retaining wall and stopped about a quarter mile away.

Shoulders, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at a Nashville hospital, authorities said.

The police statement said Harrell, of Mt. Juliet, also was charged with bringing controlled substances into the jail. Authorities said sheriff's deputies discovered a plastic bag concealed in his sock that contained 8 Xanax pills, 24 Oxycodone pills and 4 Oxymorphone pills during a search at the booking room.

Early Sunday, a jail official contacted by The Associated Press Harrell said Harrell remained in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond. The official, who declined identification by name, said Harrell was not available and jail records didn't indicate if he had an attorney.

The official said Harrell faces a court appearance Thursday morning.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time," said a statement released on the 3 Doors Down website.

The band, which formed in Mississippi in the 90s, and touts a straight-up rock 'n' roll sound with such hits as "Away From The Sun" and "Kryptonite" did not elaborate on the statement.

Metropolitan Nashville Police, contacted by AP, said they would have no further information beyond the statement released on a local government website. Authorities reached at a county sheriff's office said they had no information.

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