Todd Harrell admits to drinking, taking drugs before wreck

By Howard Breuer
April 21, 2013 01:35 PM
Splash News Online

Bassist Todd Harrell of the band 3 Doors Down was behind bars Sunday on suspicion of vehicular homicide after allegedly causing a fatal crash while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Harrell, one of the band’s three founding members, was speeding on I-40 in Nashville Friday night when his Cadillac clipped a pickup truck driven by Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr., 47, of Nashville, according to Nashville police.

The pickup truck swerved out of control, struck a guardrail, careened down an embankment and overturned, police say.

Shoulders, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the truck and ejected, and later pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Harrell’s Cadillac struck the retaining wall and stopped about a quarter mile away.

Police say Harrell seemed intoxicated during a field sobriety test and admitted consuming hard cider and taking the prescription drugs Lortab and Xanax. The police obtained a search warrant to take a blood sample andtook Harrell into custody.

During a search at the booking room, Davidson County Sheriff’s deputies discovered a plastic bag concealed in his sock with 8 Xanax pills, 24 Oxycodone pills and 4 Oxymorphone pills, authorities say.

Harrell, who is also charged with bringing controlled substances into jail, was still being held Sunday morning in lieu of $100,000 bond.

A statement on the band’s Web site says: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

The band has a greatest hits tour planned for Europe and the U.S. this summer.