Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Drunk Driver Charged With Vehicular Homicide Of Well-Known Mandolin Maker
Posted: 8/2/2006 8:06:00 AMUpdated: 8/2/2006 6:16:51 PM

Police said the driver of a Ford Explorer, Julio Villasana, 33, was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, drunk driving, and leaving the scene of an accident.

The wreck happened just before 9:00 Tuesday night. Police said the Villasana was driving the wrong direction when he ran into Charles Derrington riding on his motorcycle head on. Derrington was a well known mandolin maker with Gibson Musical Instuments. The wreck threw Derrington off of his motorcycle and into the median. Derrington later died at Vanderbilt. Villasana jumped out of his truck and tried to run away. Other witnesses tried to stop him, but police officers were finally able to arrest him.

Charlie left behind wife Susan and daughter Anna, a sophomore in College.

Reports showed that Villasana has been deported from the United State before, and there is no record of permission for him to be here. Tennessee representative Mike Turner said illegal immigration is a federal problem, but there are steps state lawmakers can take steps to ensure that all immigrants are properly trained when they get behind the wheel. Turner wants to resurrect 2003's "certificate for driving" program which afforded undocumented immigrants a driving certificate and some driver training. There's another place the state could intervene: the car lot.

"We don't require you to have a driver's license to buy a car here in Tennessee. I tried to do something about that a couple years ago and got defeated on it,” Turner said. The victim in the motorcycle crash was a well-known mandolin maker. In fact, it was Charles Derrington who repaired Bill Monroe's beloved mandolin back in 1985 after a vandal smashed it and another mandolin with a fireplace poker. He took both instruments in a bag to the Gibson repair shop and that's when Charles Derrington picked through some 500 fragments of wood to figure out just what piece went with which instrument.

August 2, 2006, 6:18 pm]
"Friends Remember Master Luthier"
A man who spent his life fine tuning musical instruments died Tuesday night in a head-on car crash on Briley Parkway. Charles Derrington, 51, was driving southbound when, according to officers, an SUV traveling in the wrong direction hit his motorcycle. The man who was responsible for the crash was in the country illegally. Police charged Julio Villasana with vehicular homicide. They said Villasana jumped out of his explorer, fled the scene, and was drinking and driving. They also said he was living in Louisville after being deported. Derrington, a husband and father of one, is credited for restoring Gibson's mandolin division......back to greatness. Friends and employees at Gibson’s Showcase said their boss loved life and lived it to the fullest. They said he was a one of a kind and more than just a boss. David Harvey is a master Luthier as was Derrington, his friend of more than 15 years. "He was second to none as a repairman Luthier. He will be missed in the mandolin blue grass community,” said Harvey. When it came to fixing instruments, the great Bill Monroe only trusted one man, Derrington. "When Bill Monroe's mandolin was almost destroyed he wouldn't take it to anyone else,” said Harvey. Known for his practicaljokes and sense of humor, Derrington is also known as the man who brought Gibson's mandolin division back to national prominence. "Charlie's legacy will be he brought the modern F5 mandolin back to its former glory remember him as a great father husband and great friend,” said Harvey.

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