Macon-based musician dies in weekend wreck

A member of a Macon-based country band died early Sunday on his way home from a show.

Jud Kingsley, age 36, died early Sunday in Henry County. A McDonough man is accused of driving under the influence and causing the accident by crossing the center line on Highway 81 east.

Kingsley was a member of the Matt Pippin Band and a cousin of band leader Matt Pippin.

Pippin on Monday said the band performed in Newnan Saturday night. Around 2 a.m. Sunday, he said, Kingsley headed home to Covington.

He said Kingsley grew up in Bibb and Monroe counties, but had lived in Covington for several years.

"It was a two-hour drive (from Newnan) and he was less than five minutes from his house," said Pippin.

The two had played together for years, including time with superstar Jason Aldean's band.

"You couldn't have a met a nicer guy," Pippin said of Kingsley.

He learned of the accident after Kingsley's girlfriend contacted him around 5:30 a.m.

"As soon as she said she was worried, I knew something was wrong," he said.

Friends and band members called police departments along his route until they learned of the accident.

In a news release, the Henry County police said Kingsley died on the scene around 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

They say Earl Smith of McDonough was treated for minor injuries and taken to the Henry County jail. He is charged with failure to maintain lane, driving under the influence and motor-vehicle homicide.


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