Sheriff: Convicted Drunk Driver Drives Drunk, Again; Causes Two Deaths

A seventy-eight year old man, on his way to tell his daugther that he was dying of cancer, was hit from behind by an alleged drunk driver.  His truck was pushed into the path of an oncoming eighteen wheeler.

The impact was head on, and the father of one died instantly.

His sixty-three year old girlfriend of twenty years was killed too.

KSLA News 12 has uncovered evidence that the teenager, who police say caused the crash that killed both people, has a history of driving drunk.

Tuesday, Jacob Cannon did not celebrate his birthday.  He turned twenty behind bars, charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular negligent injury, and driving under suspension.

This is not the first time he's been busted for allegedly driving drunk.  It is the first time his drinking has caused someone to die.

Pete Allen and Gail Price never married, but after twenty years they were like a married couple.

So, it was natural that Gail was riding with Pete to Arkansas, Sunday, to tell Petes only daugther  he was dying of cancer.

They never made it.

Highway 71, near Ida, is where they died.  The scattered debris littered the roadway.  Their bodies were too mangled for an open casket funeral.

"You can't imagine," Gail Price's daugther said, "the sheer anguish of hearing a deputy sheriff saying at 1 am, 'we regret to inform you'."

KSLA has uncovered, Cannons history of alcohol abuse started when he was a teenager.

"We couldn't seem to stop him," says Jacob's grandfather, Marlin Addison.

"You said he was uncontrollable," asked KSLA News 12 reporter, David Begnaud.

"What did you mean by that," Begnaud asked.

"As far as drinking and smoking pot, and all of that stuff," Addison said.

"And when did that start," asked Begnaud.

"Ever since he got out of high school," said Addison.

Fact is, Jacob dropped out of school.  Last year, at nineteen years old, he pleaded guilty to DWI, and guilty to drug possession.  Each time, Judge Michael Walker suspended his fine, and his prison sentence, and gave him the kind of probation some call "a slap on the wrist."  He was given four, eight hours days of community service.

"How is that going to change his personality," asked Sissy Cockerham, of Louisianas DWI Resource Center.

"How is that going to change his actions," Cockerham added.

Her daughter was killed by a drunk driver.  She believes the court system failed Jacob Cannon, and in turn, cost two people their lives.

"The courts do not protect us," said Cockerham.

She says the excuse she always here is, "we can't jail them all."

"We can fill the jails, or we can fill the caskets," she frustratingly said.

That is what's happening this time.  Two people, grandparents and lovers, have both been killed because of a man whose own family says he was an uncontrollable alcoholic.

Reported by David Begnaud