Crime & Courts

Drunk Driver Kills Expectant Mother, Evades Criminal Punishment

“Where’s the justice for my child?”

The businessman allegedly to blame for a drunk driving crash last fall which killed an expectant mother — and left her surviving children hospitalized with serious injuries — is expected to surrender himself to authorities on Monday (January 8, 2024) at 10:30 a.m. EST.

What charges might he face? And why has it taken prosecutors so long to file them? Our media outlet will be in the courtroom next week in search of answers to those questions.

On October 25, 2023, Kaitlyn Marie Potter, 25, and her unborn son, Mavrick Branson Baker, were “annihilated” in a fiery, three-vehicle collision on S.C. Highway 72 in Chester County, South Carolina that left her other two children seriously injured.

Potter had taken her children with her that afternoon to go Christmas shopping.

The Rock Hill native was pronounced dead by the Chester County coroner Terry Tinker at approximately 3:00 p.m. EDT. Her three-year-old son, Jamison “Bubba” Johnson, and five-year-old daughter, Natalee “Nat” Johnson, were immediately airlifted to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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THE TOTALITY …

Kaitlyn Potter and her fiancée, Daniel Baker
(Provided)

“It was and it still is unbelievable,” said Kaitlyn’s 69-year-old mother, Sandra Potter. “Kaitlyn loved her church, Lake Wylie Christian Assembly. She worked in youth ministry with me. She helped out there and she loved it. Now … it’s hard to even go in there on Sundays.”

Sandra told our outlet that she was unaware of her daughter’s death until arriving on-scene with her longtime husband and 22-year-old daughter. Unbeknownst to family, first responders were still working to remove Kaitlyn’s body from her pulverized 2004 Nissan Sentra. 

“I could hardly recognize her car,” said Kaitlyn’s youngest sister, Aimee Potter. “It was so mangled. But when I looked at the front for second time, I saw Natalee’s book bag where the engine should have been … I swear, I can still hear my mom screaming.”

Upon confirmation of Kaitlyn’s death, the family traveled to Charlotte to check on the children – calling friends and family along the way. They arrived at Levine as clinicians were preparing Jameson for surgery — and watched as Natalee’s helicopter landed on the rooftop helipad. 

(Click to View)

“Natalee was as talkative as ever,” continued a teary-eyed Sandra. “Of course, my granddaughter saw her mother die and thought that Bubba had died, too, because he was covered in so much blood. We couldn’t convince her that he was alive until several days later.”

While Natalee suffered “only” a concussion, laceration to her spleen and broken wrist from the collision, her younger brother was not so lucky. His skull was shattered in 12 to 15 different pieces when he was knocked unconscious upon impact. 

Three surgeries later, Jameson is breathing through a trachea and remains hospitalized with limited motor skills. The quasi-conscious toddler — once known for his roughhousing — is confined to a strap-in wheelchair and medical helmet when he’s not tethered to a hospital bed.

“It’s awful. It’s awful. Because he was [at my house] every day,” maintained Sandra. “He would fall on purpose … He would love jumping off of stuff. I would have to get onto him all the time because he would get on the back of the couch and jump off … But those days are gone.”

With Kaitlyn laid to rest, Jameson in the hospital and Natalee in-between families, at least one question remains unanswered among their grieving family: When will there be accountability in this case?

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THE DRIVER …

Charles ‘Trey’ Sidney Jones III
(LinkedIn)

According to an incident report from the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), the person single-handedly responsible for this collision is Charles ‘Trey’ Sidney Jones III of Greenwood, S.C. — who as of this writing remains a free man not facing any criminal charges in connection with the crash.

On October 25, 2023, Jones was traveling on Highway 72 in his father’s 2000 BMW Z3 M Roadster 2D convertible — equipped with a custom license plate reading, “2000Z3M.” (His family owns multiple BMW’s, according to publicly accessible property tax records).

Shortly before 3:00 p.m., EDT, Jones was rounding the roadway going upward of 100 miles per hour — in a 55 miles per hour zone — when he crossed the centerline and struck a Ford F-150. The luxury car then swerved into oncoming traffic and impaled Kaitlyn’s Nissan. 

A Snapchat video captured within moments of the crash — and shared exclusively with this outlet — indicated that Jones was tossed approximately 38 feet from the convertible before landing face-up on the pavement. His fathers car burst into flames shortly thereafter. 

Be warned, this is a graphic video …

(Click to View)

Snapchat video posted at 3:02 p.m. on 10/25/2023
(Provided)

When first responders arrived, Jones purportedly admitted he was drunk before EMS transported him to a local hospital. He was then administered an alcohol/drug test through a blood sample, according to the same SCDPS incident report.

While the 43-year-old was supposedly treated for bone fractures upon emergency admission to the hospital, he was nonetheless able to leave within a “few hours,” according to attorneys familiar with the situation. 

According to our sources — Jones was denied by authorities from entering a rehabilitation clinic in northeast Florida, where he operates a hardscape construction company titled Reef Pavers. Instead, Jones enrolled into a rehabilitation clinic near his parents’ home in Greenwood. He remained in treatment for Halloween and Thanksgiving before the institution released him sometime around Christmas.

He is believed by our sources to have spent the holidays with his family.

“We just know that an alleged drunk driver hit ‘em,” continued Sandra. “And that’s pretty much all we know. We’ve been more involved with Kaitlyn’s death, and Macrick’s, and all of the injuries … But we really haven’t been told a whole lot from the Highway Patrol, or anybody, about who hit her.”

In the Palmetto State, Jones was convicted of two separate DUI charges and one reckless driving charge between 2003 and 2007. In the Sunshine State, he was reportedly charged with another DUI in 2013.

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THE ROAD AHEAD …

Jamison Johnson within Levine Children’s Hospital
(Provided)

Come January 2, 2024, the Potter family was notified of an arrest warrant issued against Jones. While specifics remain unclear, it appears as though he will surrender himself at the Chester County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m. EST on Monday, January 8, 2024.

Sources familiar with the situation said the S.C. sixth circuit solicitor’s office moved Jones’ bond court hearing from magistrate to circuit court — due to the severity of his latest crime.

“This situation was completely avoidable, tragic, and ridiculous,” said Sandra in a written statement provided by the Gaston, Marion & Stubbs, P.A. law firm. “My family should have been enjoying the holiday season these past few months, but instead we were forced to meet with law enforcement and lawyers. We hope that this is the first step in the process of obtaining justice for Kaitlyn and her children.”

In the interim, GoFundMe efforts are underway for Kaitlyn’s family as multiple medical devices — such as wheelchairs, custom helmets and mobility ramps — will be needed once Jameson is discharged from the hospital. Monthly updates are posted on the landing page, as well.

Count on FITSNews to monitor the supposed charges against Jones — as well as any additional updates related to Monday’s surrender, arrest and bail verdict.

UPDATE | On January 8, 2024, Charles ‘Trey’ Sidney Jones III surrendered himself to authorities before he was served with three arrest warrants before S.C. circuit court judge Donald B. Hocker. After prosecutors revealed that Jones’ blood alcohol content (BAC) upon impact was 0.277 percent, the businessman was swiftly denied bond.

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THE STATEMENT …

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THE INCIDENT REPORT …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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5 comments

J Doe January 6, 2024 at 1:02 pm

Why do you publish documents with so much protected personal identifying information? Dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, VINs, drivers license numbers, full names of minors. All of this should be redacted.

Reply
J Doe January 6, 2024 at 1:13 pm

Also, the incident report is silent as to fault or the details of the accident, contrary to what Andy said: “According to an incident report from the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), the person single-handedly responsible for this collision is Charles ‘Trey’ Sidney Jones III of Greenwood, S.C. “

Maybe you’ve seen but didn’t publish some other report?

Reply
Up2nogood January 6, 2024 at 7:15 pm

The author doesnt have his facts straight. Similar to most of the media and journalists that are in the business to slander complete strangers. Love that the journalist is from a family of outlaws and apparently proud of it? Oh Andy!!

Reply
B B BROCKMAN Top fan January 7, 2024 at 9:50 am

If he weren’t from a prominent family he would have had no license and would have already been incarcerated several times before. The almost exact same thing happened to a close friend of mine back in 2004 in Spartanburg, the guy that hit hem had 6 prior DUI’s, influential family, high dollar ,big name, politically connected, lawyer and he had never been in jail, ever, with 6, I say again DUI’S, when he killed my friend while drunk driving yet again. This is how laws work, if you know the right people in SC.

Reply
noneofyourbiz January 11, 2024 at 12:44 pm

Let the justice system do its job. There was a reason it took longer for the alleged driver at fault to be arrested and he never “evaded” punishment. Also, it’s disgusting that you would publish reports with the PERSONAL details from both parties. This is the sleaziest article I’ve read in a long time. The “reporter” should be ashamed of himself. You put innocent people at risk by publishing this information all for the sake of adding shock value to your article. Next time you use someone else’s tragedy for your personal benefit, why don’t you wait until there is more evidence to ACCURATELY publish the truth?!

Reply

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