Former Elba principal receives 10-year sentence for causing wreck

Debra Johnson Strickland drove her car across the center line of a two-lane highway in Geneva County and collided head-on with another vehicle.
Debra Johnson Strickland drove her car across the center line of a two-lane highway in Geneva County and collided head-on with another vehicle.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 9:48 PM CDT
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ELBA, Ala. (WTVY) - A former Elba school principal has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in a plea deal.

Debra Johnson Strickland pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two reduced assault charges, one a lesser felony and the other a misdemeanor.

Strickland, on June 5, 2021, drove her car across the center line of a Geneva County highway and collided head-on with another vehicle.

Three Kentucky women headed to Panama City Beach were hurt, two of them seriously.

Strickland ran from the scene on foot, per Alabama state troopers who captured her about an hour later.

Following the wreck, her attorney David Harrison theorized Strickland fled because she was dazed, disoriented, and searching for medical assistance.

Geneva County Circuit Judge Kimberly Clark dismissed Strickland’s Leaving the Scene charge as part of the plea agreement with prosecutors.

Harrison hopes she will be placed on probation and an alternative sentencing hearing is set for November 10.

Strickland resigned following her arrest.

She remains free on bond.

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