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Covington man facing homicide, DUI charges in October wreck that killed teen

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Covington man has been charged with vehicular homicide more than four months after a head-on collision in which a teen passenger in another vehicle died.

Amayah Parris, 19, of Covington, died in the Oct. 24 wreck on Access Road, one mile west of Old Oxford Road. 

Matthew Bartmess, 42, was arrested Feb. 19 and was being held in the Newton County Jail without bond on charges including vehicular homicide and DUI connected to the incident.

Bartmess allegedly was driving while at almost twice the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% for DUI in Georgia, the Georgia State Patrol reported. 

A GSP report stated Bartmess was driving a 2000 Ford Explorer SUV east on Access Road at about 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 24 when his vehicle collided head-on with a 2006 Mercedes E350W driven by Briahna Volny, 20, of Covington.

The vehicles struck passenger side headlight to passenger side headlight near the center of the roadway, the report stated. 

After impact, both vehicles rotated clockwise and came to final uncontrolled rests on the opposite shoulders of the roadway, it stated. 

Parris was a front seat passenger in the Mercedes and was not ejected. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Volny and a back seat passenger were not seriously injured but were transported to Piedmont Walton Hospital.

Bartmess had suspected serious injuries and was transported by Air Life 6 helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center.

All had to be extricated from the vehicles.

Test results earlier this month showed Bartmess had a BAC of 0.159%, the report stated. 

The case was turned over to the Newton County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.