THP ties Signal Mountain teenager to Marion wreck that killed 3
Wyn Walker makes clear; he saw none of what led up to the Jeep crash that killed three people only yards from his home off Big Fork Road in Marion County Saturday morning.
But he heard plenty, from first responders and those at the scene after the ambulance sirens awakened him,
"Multiple stories," he says. "One is that they were being chased. That someone literally was hitting the back of the vehicle."
District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor confirms that Highway Patrol investigators believe a Signal Mountain man, 18-year-old James Taylor Meeks III, contributed to the crash, somehow.
Meeks is under arrest for separate charges in Gordon County, GA. But he's being held on charges pending in Sequatchie County; accused of stealing a pickup truck, and later burning it.
"It's my understanding that he turned himself in to the Gordon County Sheriff's Department," Taylor says.
"The vehicle that Mr. Meeks is charged with the theft of was one of the vehicles involved in the investigation of the crash that led to the deaths of the three people in Marion County."
That burned-out Ford F150 pickup now sits in TDOT's impound yard in Dunlap. So does Eric Blevins' wrecked Jeep Wrangler. The Highway Patrol's Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)moved it there after a thorough going-over in Marion County Monday.
Investigators won't say what they're looking for, but Walker believes he has a pretty good idea, if the claims about a chase are true.
"The pickup would have damage to the front of their vehicle. And the Jeep would have damage to the back."
The Highway Patrol believes Blevins' Jeep rolled twice.
"It had no top on it," Lt. Christie Phillips says. "The plastic cover,nothing. Course the plastic cover never would have made a difference."
Lt. Phillips confirms that the Jeep's roll-bar was crushed.
Investigators believe everybody involved may have been four-wheeling off big fork road prior to the crash.
Eyewitness News spotted an all-terrain vehicle at Meeks' home on Signal Mountain when a crew visited late Wednesday morning. We've been unable to reach family members. The phone number for the address listed, is disconnected.
"(Meeks) has been interviewed," DA Taylor confirms. "But I'm not allowed to comment on what he said, nor what other charges he might face."
The families of Annie Blevins, Emily Clayton and Scott Clayton have spent much of the day receiving friends. They've declined to speaker either about the crash or Meeks' arrest.
"There's so many contributing factors to this crash that we're not gonna leave anything out," Lt. Phillips says.
"On a scale of one to ten? It's a ten. Eleven. Twelve."