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Mysterious wreck leaves Damon charged with DUI
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There may be more than meets the eye from a pre-dawn crash Saturday morning on Holcomb Road which left one man in jail facing felony charges and another man airlifted for medical treatment.
The driver, Jacob Damon, was arrested at the scene and charged with second-offense DUI, driving on a revoked license, and reckless endangerment. His passenger, Josh Barnes, was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga for treatment.
Lawmen were called to Merry Oaks Road around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning to respond to a call of a crash where the occupants were ejected. When officers found the wreck, which was actually located on Holcomb Road, they found two men outside the vehicle which was resting in a ditch.
An on-scene air evacuation was called when medical personnel could not roust Barnes, who was found lying in a ditch near the wreckage. They assumed, given the evidence before them, he may have been ejected during the crash.
However, questions about what happened arose after lawmen were able to get a good look at the scene.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of damage to the vehicle,” said Highway Patrolman Rodney Whiles, who worked the accident.
The question of damage then made lawmen wonder if the vehicle had slammed into the ditch with enough force to throw both men out. Their question was answered when they looked at one of the tires which had been worn down to the rim -- with the rim ground down like it had been driven a good distance. Based on the evidence, officers began to backtrack and follow the gouges in the road the wheel had made. They tracked it over a mile.
The final analysis was that Damon, who reportedly admitted driving the vehicle, had hit something but the wreck had happened a significant distance down the road. He had then continued, shedding the busted tire and riding on the rim until he lost control and put the vehicle in the ditch where the men were found. As for the men being located in the ditch, it is suspected they had gotten out of the vehicle on their own before help arrived.
The extent of injuries suffered by Barnes are unknown, although it was noted he could have suffered some type of injury in the earlier crash before they ran into the ditch.