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Driver sentenced to 10 years for deadly Forsyth County wreck
Brandon Anthony Schneider
Brandon Anthony Schneider

A Forsyth County man accused of killing one person and seriously injuring another while driving under the influence of GHB in 2018 pleaded guilty this week to multiple charges in the Forsyth County Superior Court.

According to court records, Brandon Anthony Schneider, 27, has now been found guilty as the at-fault driver in a head-on collision on Canton Highway, which killed 87-year-old Connie Mack “Doc” Lathem and injured Bunia Lathem on July 19, 2018.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Schneider pleaded guilty to charges including homicide by vehicle, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of roadway and driving under the influence.

At the time of the wreck, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater told the Forsyth County News that at noon on July 19, 2018, deputies began receiving 911 calls that a 2002 Lexus GS300 was traveling down Canton Highway driving on the wrong side of the road and appeared as if the driver was not in control.

Shortly after, they began receiving calls that two vehicles on Canton Highway had collided head-on, just east of Bethelview Road.

In a Sheriff’s Office news release from the incident, Rainwater stated that the Lexus was traveling west on Canton Highway when the vehicle crossed over a painted yellow median and struck a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, driven by Connie Lathem, traveling east on Canton Highway.

The occupants of both vehicles were taken from the scene to local hospitals, where Connie Lathem was later pronounced dead. Bunia Lathem and Schneider were treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Indictment documents filed in June alleged that Schneider was under the influence of GHB, an addictive prescription drug commonly known as a “club drug” or “date rape drug,” at the time of the wreck.

Previously in 2015, Schneider was found guilty of possession of oxycodone and possession of drug-related objects in the Forsyth County Superior Court.

According to Forsyth County District Attorney Penny Penn, he was sentenced to four years of probation for these charges. Penn said that after the sentencing, his probation was revoked several times and he was sent to the State Probation Detention Center for 180 days.

With this most recent guilty plea, Schneider has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of probation by Superior Court Judge David L. Dickinson.