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DECATUR — A Decatur man remains jailed on $300,000 bond after his arrest Monday on preliminary charges stemming from a crash that killed a 17-month-old girl.

Matthew D. Jackson, 30, had a blood-alcohol content of .265 percent, more than three times the legal limit, following the fatal crash May 15, said a probable cause affidavit by Decatur patrol officer Lawrence Petrey.

At the time of the crash, Jackson's driver's license was suspended and he was serving a term of court supervision for a 2016 DUI conviction, according to the affidavit. It is not known if Jackson has retained an attorney.

At about 12:22 a.m. Monday, May 15, Jackson was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Impala on the 2600 block of East Lost Bridge Road, heading west in the eastbound lanes, when his vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle, police said. 

“Seated in the rear passenger seat was Matthew's daughter, Ava Talifero-Jackson,” Petrey wrote in his statement. “Ava was transported to St. Mary's Hospital by emergency personnel where she was pronounced deceased from injuries she sustained in the crash.”

Witnesses who were at the scene first told police “they saw Matthew lean out of the opened driver's door and throw a glass bottle underneath the car.” The bottle was identified as a “nearly empty 375 ml (about .8 pint) New Amsterdam Vodka bottle,” Petrey wrote.

Jackson's first question to individuals who were at the scene after the crash was, “Do you see anything that need to be taken out?” witnesses told police.

Jackson sustained injuries including a fractured leg bone. During a police interview at the hospital, his “eyes were glassy and bloodshot, he had slurred speech, and had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath,” according to the affidavit. 

Petrey wrote that the positioning of the vehicles found at the crash scene was consistent with witness reports that Jackson “was traveling completely in the westbound lane while driving eastbound.”

An investigation is being conducted by the Decatur Police Fatal Accident Investigation Team.

The charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing death is a Class 2 felony punishable by three to 14 years in prison, said Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott. Jackson also faces preliminary charges of aggravated DUI with a prior conviction, with a child passenger, and aggravated DUI with his license suspended or revoked.

Jackson is scheduled to be arraigned by Monday in circuit court, according to court documents. Formal charging decisions are made by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office. 


Staff Writer

Staff Writer for the Herald & Review.