HCSO seeks info on suspect who crashed through Laurel Run Park gate

Jeff Bobo • Updated Aug 30, 2017 at 10:54 AM

CHURCH HILL — Hawkins County authorities are hoping someone can help identify the person who drove through the closed Laurel Run Park gate Friday night, causing about $1,500 in damage.

Park manager Joe Lindsey told the Times-News that sometime after the park closed Friday night someone rammed through the iron gate at the entrance to the park on Laurel Run Park Road.

Lindsey said he doesn't know for sure what time it happened. His dogs started barking around 11:30 p.m., and that may have been when it happened, but he didn't discover the damage until he went out to open the park the next morning.

"They literally ripped the gates off the hinges," Lindsey said. "They're ruined. We've got some cattle gates up now temporarily."

Based on some of the parts found at the crash site, Lindsey has deduced that the suspect vehicle was a 2006-08 Dodge Ram pickup.

There is also a black skid mark on the pavement just inside the gate where it appears someone slammed on the brakes after crashing through.

"I saw a truck (Monday) while I was out getting fuel," Lindsey said. "I pulled out from River Road onto Goshen Valley heading toward Church Hill, and I saw a Dodge truck coming at me with what looked like fresh front end damage. I'd bet money that was it, but by the time I turned around I couldn't find it. I will keep my eye out, and I'll find it eventually."

Anyone who has information about the vehicle that broke through the gate is asked to call the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at (423) 272-4848 or Hawkins County Central Dispatch at (423) 272-7121.