Clayton Qualls charged with DUI in Harris County earlier this month

By Sara Belsole

COLUMBUS, GA – The Columbus teen charged in connection to a fatal weekend car accident was previously arrested for DUI in a separate incident earlier this month.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, 17-year-old Qualls was charged with DUI and minor possession of alcohol on June 4. Officials say they pulled over Qualls, who was driving three others, on Highway 280 in Harris County after a deputy allegedly saw a beer can be tossed out of the car.

Officials say they found a small cooler filled with unopened beers inside the car. They say Qualls tested positive for alcohol with a 0.078 blood alcohol content.

Qualls appeared in Columbus Recorder's Court Monday morning in connection to the fatal car crash that killed Northside High School student 16-year-old Hannah Gilmer.

He waived his right to a preliminary hearing and bond was set at just over $22,000. He faces nine charges, including vehicular homicide, DUI and minor in possession of alcohol.

Police say Qualls was behind the wheel when he lost control of the car at the intersection of County Line Road and Randall Woods Drive around 11 Friday night.

They say Gilmer was ejected from the car and died hours later at the Medical Center from her injuries.

Neither teen was wearing a seatbelt.