Huntsville man charged with reckless murder of pregnant woman

Dennis Hammond (Source: Huntsville Police Department)
Dennis Hammond (Source: Huntsville Police Department)
Published: Jul. 10, 2017 at 2:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2017 at 7:05 PM CDT
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(Source: Johnson family)
(Source: Johnson family)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville Police have charged 57-year-old Dennis Hammond with reckless murder Monday morning following a weekend traffic accident on Jordan Lane that claimed the life of a pregnant woman.

The victim was 29-year-old Danetria Rice of Huntsville.

Rice was the passenger in a car traveling north on Jordan Lane near Sportsman Lane around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Hammond was driving south and crossed over the turn lane and struck Rice's vehicle head-on.

The driver of that vehicle was Rice's husband, Joel Johnson. Their young daughter was also in the car.

"I remember trying to step on the brakes so that we wouldn't go into the building," Johnson said.
Barely holding back tears, Johnson struggles as he remembers the horrific last moments with his pregnant wife.
"She was just screaming and I tried and I tried consoling her to let her know it's OK to breathe and to relax but she was just in so much pain and I couldn't stop the pain," said Johnson.

Rice was transported to the hospital, where she died of her injuries. The baby survived the accident but remains in critical condition.

Police say Hammond appeared to be under the influence and was treated and released from the hospital. He was then arrested and charged with the murder of Danetria Rice.

"We hear about this all the time and innocent people lose their lives because of it," said Johnson.
Right now, as he finds the strength to move on, he says what's important to him, is showing his kids who exactly their Mother was.

"A beautiful mother, a wonderful wife, and she put her all into everything that she did," said Johnson.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

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