Ardmore man pleas guilty to manslaughter charge

Plamedie Ifasso
The Daily Ardmoreite

An Ardmore man pleaded guilty this week to first degree manslaughter. 

Matthew Kemp Northam was charged with first degree manslaughter in June 2020 following an investigation into a December 2019 collusion that killed an individual and injured another. 

According to Carter County court documents, Northam was believed to be under the influence of methamphetamine during the 2019 collusion when Northam was driving a 2017 white Peterbuilt tanker truck on State Highway 76, near Maverick Road, south of Wilson. Around 3:43 p.m, Northam’s truck reportedly hit a 2014 gold Chevrolet Traverse sports utility vehicle driven by 30-year-old Brandi Salyer. Salyer died from her injuries a day after the crash 

District Attorney Craig Ladd said Northam’s blood tested positive for meth, but at the preliminary hearing, the trooper testified after the crash, that he didn’t make any observations that would lead him to believe Northam was under the influence at the time. 

“Nevertheless the evidence indicated that Northam had at least used meth recently enough for it to show up on his bloodstream and was driving a semi truck and trailer in a reckless manner at the time of the tragic crash that cost a young mother her life,” Ladd said. 

Ladd said Northam was sentenced to 25 years on a 85% offense, so he is required to serve at least 85% of his sentencing before he is eligible for parole.