KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Attempting to Locate Missing Woman (Update)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Attempting to Locate Missing Woman (Update)
DATE: December 5, 2022
CASE #: 22-020996
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Update: Katherine E. Carrico has been found safe and is no longer considered a missing person.

As previously released:

On the afternoon of October 22, 2022 Katherine E. Carrico was reported missing to the Kingsport Police Department by a family member. She has reportedly not been seen or heard from in over a month, since around mid-September 2022.

Detectives currently have no known reason to suspect foul play; however, due to information shared at the time of reporting, there is cause to be concerned for her general health and welfare.

Katherine is a 50 year old white female adult. She is approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs roughly 115 pounds. She has no known permanent address; however, she has recent ties to Kingsport. Her photograph has been included with this release.

Anyone who sees her, or who may potentially know her current whereabouts, is asked to contact Detectives in the K.P. D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us

MISSING PERSON INFORMATION
Name Katherine E. Carrico
Age 50 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/White
Height/

Weight

5 feet 6 inches

115 pounds

Hair/Eyes Brown Hair

Blue Eyes

Residency No known permanent address

Kingsport, TN

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Attempting to Locate Missing Woman

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Attempting to Locate Missing Woman
DATE: December 2, 2022
CASE #: 22-020996
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On the afternoon of October 22, 2022 Katherine E. Carrico was reported missing to the Kingsport Police Department by a family member. She has reportedly not been seen or heard from in over a month, since around mid-September 2022.

Detectives currently have no known reason to suspect foul play; however, due to information shared at the time of reporting, there is cause to be concerned for her general health and welfare.

Katherine is a 50 year old white female adult. She is approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs roughly 115 pounds. She has no known permanent address; however, she has recent ties to Kingsport. Her photograph has been included with this release.

Anyone who sees her, or who may potentially know her current whereabouts, is asked to contact Detectives in the K.P. D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us

MISSING PERSON INFORMATION
Name Katherine E. Carrico
Age 50 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/White
Height/

Weight

5 feet 6 inches

115 pounds

Hair/Eyes Brown Hair

Blue Eyes

Residency No known permanent address

Kingsport, TN

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. Detectives Investigating Discovery of Two Deceased Adults

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. Detectives Investigating Discovery of Two Deceased Adults
DATE: November 29, 2022
CASE #: 22-023650
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On November 29, 2022 shortly after 9:00 AM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers and Detectives responded to a residence in the 1900 block of Idle Hour Road in Kingsport in reference to the discovery of two deceased adults who were found by a family member.

The decedents were identified as husband and wife, Michael S. Warner and Loretta J. Warner. The couple resided together at the home where they were discovered. Based upon the preliminary investigation, both individuals appear to have died from gunshot wounds.

Both decedents will be sent for autopsies to be completed by the Medical Examiner at the East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City.

This appears to have been an isolated incident, completely contained to this residence, and there is absolutely no reason to believe there is any danger to the general public.

The associated investigation by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Unit remains ongoing. Due to the active status of this investigation, no further details can or will be released at this time. Additional information will be shared as it develops, but only at an appropriate point in the investigation.

DECEDENT #1 INFORMATION
Name Michael S. Warner
Age 66 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Fatal Gunshot Wound/Deceased
DECEDENT #2 INFORMATION
Name Loretta J. Warner
Age 67 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Fatal Gunshot Wound/Deceased
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. to Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day Event on Saturday October 29th (Reminder)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. to Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day Event on Saturday October 29th(Reminder)
DATE: October 27, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, the Kingsport Police Department will be participating in a community drug take-back event. This event will take place in the parking lot in front of Dobyns-Bennett High School, located at 1 Tribe Way, in Kingsport. This event is sponsored by the United Way of Greater Kingsport, the Kingsport Police Department, and the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition.

Between now and Saturday, October 29th, all area residents are encouraged to go through their medicine cabinets and inventory their medications. Now is the time to safely dispose of any leftover, expired, or otherwise unwanted medications. This community drug take-back event is open to the public and is a prime opportunity and the preferred method to safely dispose of any medications that are no longer needed.

The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days each year, in April and October. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days aim to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

While the DEA does recognize these two annual days, at the Kingsport Police Department, we like to think of every day as Drug Take-Back Day. K.P.D. has been participating in drug take-back initiatives since 2010 and installed a permanent drug collection box in the lobby of the Kingsport Justice Center, located at 200 Shelby Street in Downtown Kingsport, in 2012. Our box is accessible 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year. To date, K.P.D. has been able to safely incinerate over 20,000 pounds (10 tons) of leftover, unwanted, or expired medications.

The goals of this program are to keep drugs off the street, prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings, and avoid environmental contamination. Drugs that can be accepted include prescription, over the counter (OTC), vitamins, herbals, supplements, and veterinary medications. Items that are not accepted through this program include needles or sharps, biohazard materials, and illegal drugs.

For more information on the DEA’s National Take-Back Day initiative, please visit the following links:

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

https://takebackday.dea.gov/

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Share Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Share Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween
DATE: October 27, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
With October 31st just around the corner, the Kingsport Police Department would like to offer some suggestions for a safer Halloween experience.

When it comes to costumed children and candy collecting, the Kingsport Police Department is a strong advocate of the “Trunk or Treat” and “Fall Festival” concepts as significantly safer alternatives to traditional door-to-door Trick or Treating.

Rather than having kids wandering along dark neighborhood streets, knocking on the doors of complete strangers, Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival events are often held in cordoned-off and well-lit parking lots or enclosed venues and are typically sponsored by reputable business, churches, or other community organizations.

Furthermore, most of these events also include food, games, activities, and/or costume contests. There will be several Trunk or Treats and Fall Festivals taking place throughout the Kingsport area in the coming days, giving kids multiple opportunities to sport their costumes and collect goodies.

With that being said, on Monday, October 31, 2022, traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is certainly an option. For those choosing this historically popular activity, the Kingsport Police Department offers the following Halloween safety tips courtesy of the National Safety Council:

Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween

Kids love the magic of Halloween, but costume and traffic safety are essential for trick-or-treaters. These tips can help make a safe and happy holiday for everyone.

Costume Safety

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, fda.gov has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause safety hazards.

● All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
● If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
● Opt for nontoxic Halloween makeup over masks, which can obscure vision; always test makeup in a small area first to see if any irritation develops
● Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation

When They’re on the Prowl

Here’s a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these incidents.

Keep these tips in mind when your children are out on Halloween night:

● A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
● If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
● Agree on a specific time children should return home
● Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car
● Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
● Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home, and take care to
avoid any food allergies

Safety Tips for Motorists

NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:

● Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
● Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
● At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
● Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. to Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day Event on Saturday October 29th

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. to Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day Event on Saturday October 29th
DATE: October 21, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, the Kingsport Police Department will be participating in a community drug take-back event. This event will take place in the parking lot in front of Dobyns-Bennett High School, located at 1 Tribe Way, in Kingsport. This event is sponsored by the United Way of Greater Kingsport, the Kingsport Police Department, and the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition.

Between now and Saturday, October 29th, all area residents are encouraged to go through their medicine cabinets and inventory their medications. Now is the time to safely dispose of any leftover, expired, or otherwise unwanted medications. This community drug take-back event is open to the public and is a prime opportunity and the preferred method to safely dispose of any medications that are no longer needed.

The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days each year, in April and October. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days aim to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

While the DEA does recognize these two annual days, at the Kingsport Police Department, we like to think of every day as Drug Take-Back Day. K.P.D. has been participating in drug take-back initiatives since 2010 and installed a permanent drug collection box in the lobby of the Kingsport Justice Center, located at 200 Shelby Street in Downtown Kingsport, in 2012. Our box is accessible 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year. To date, K.P.D. has been able to safely incinerate over 20,000 pounds (10 tons) of leftover, unwanted, or expired medications.

The goals of this program are to keep drugs off the street, prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings, and avoid environmental contamination. Drugs that can be accepted include prescription, over the counter (OTC), vitamins, herbals, supplements, and veterinary medications. Items that are not accepted through this program include needles or sharps, biohazard materials, and illegal drugs.

For more information on the DEA’s National Take-Back Day initiative, please visit the following links:

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

https://takebackday.dea.gov/

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Applications Being Accepted for K.P.D. Corrections Officer

Kingsport Police Department

DalePhipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Applications Being Accepted for K.P.D. Corrections Officer
DATE: October 21, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The City of Kingsport Human Resources Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Corrections Officer with the Kingsport Police Department. Individuals 18 years of age or older who are interested in a criminal justice career are encouraged to apply.

All applications must be submitted online using the following link:

https://www.GovernmentJobs.com/Careers/Kingsport

Please note that there are separate job postings for male and female applicants, but BOTH are currently open.

In order to be considered for an interview, applications must be submitted by no later than Saturday, November 5, 2022.

The salary for a Kingsport Police Department Corrections Officer has recently been increased and starts at $15.37 per hour or $31,969 per year. City of Kingsport employee benefits include direct payroll deposit; paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave; employee life insurance; optional supplemental and dependent life insurance; long-term disability; health insurance; optional dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; and education tuition and fitness membership reimbursements.

The current retirement plan through December 31, 2022 is the Mission Square 401 fund with matching, plus an optional Mission Square 457 fund.

The new retirement plan that will go into effect on January 1, 2023 is the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) Hybrid Plan consisting of both a Defined Benefit (Pension) and a Defined Contribution (401), plus an optional 457 fund.

Anyone hired in 2022 will be enrolled in the current retirement plan. On January 1, 2023 those employees may then choose to either keep the current plan or transition to the new plan. Anyone hired in 2023 will be automatically enrolled in the new retirement plan.

For additional information regarding the application process, please call the City of Kingsport Human Resources Department at 423-229-9401. For additional information regarding the Corrections Officer position, please call the K.P.D. Jail Administrator at 423-229-9424.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Applications Being Accepted for Communications Specialist in Kingsport 911

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Applications Being Accepted for Communications Specialist in Kingsport 911
DATE: September 29, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The City of Kingsport is currently accepting applications for the position of Communications Specialist to serve in the Kingsport 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center. Communications Specialists, also known as Dispatchers, are the calm, yet highly trained, voice on the phone whenever a citizen calls 9-1-1 for assistance in an emergency.

Starting salary is $16.15 per hour or $31,597 annually. Pay incentives are negotiable for applicants with prior 9-1-1 dispatch experience.

City of Kingsport employee benefits include direct payroll deposit; paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave; employee life insurance; optional supplemental and dependent life insurance; long-term disability; health insurance; optional dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; and education tuition and fitness membership reimbursements.

The current retirement plan through December 31, 2022 is the Mission Square 401 fund with matching, plus an optional Mission Square 457 fund.

The new retirement plan that will go into effect on January 1, 2023 is the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) Hybrid Plan consisting of both a Defined Benefit (Pension) and a Defined Contribution (401), plus an optional 457 fund.

Anyone hired in 2022 will be enrolled in the current retirement plan. On January 1, 2023 those employees may then choose to either keep the current plan or transition to the new plan. Anyone hired in 2023 will be automatically enrolled in the new retirement plan.

In order to be considered for any current openings, applications must be received by Sunday, October 9, 2022. All applications must be submitted online by visiting the following link:

https://www.GovernmentJobs.com/Careers/Kingsport

The Communications Specialists of Kingsport Central Dispatch process roughly a quarter of a million telephone calls annually. Approximately twenty percent (50,000) of these calls are emergency calls to 9-1-1. Although a division of the Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Central Dispatch also provides services for the Kingsport Fire Department, Sullivan County E.M.S., Kingsport Life Saving Crew, and other city departments and functions.

Kingsport Central Dispatch moved into the current 7,500 square foot, state-of-the-art, 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center in Downtown Kingsport in October 2015. Central Dispatch had previously been housed in a cramped 1,000 square foot space on the second floor of the Kingsport Justice Center since 1989. Prior to that, Central Dispatch operated out of the basement of the Civic Auditorium.

Kingsport Central Dispatch personnel serve under the supervision of the Executive Director of Kingsport 9-1-1, and when fully staffed include a Communications Supervisor, a Technical Services Coordinator, 4 Shift Leaders, and 16 Communications Specialists, all of whom are Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) certified.

For additional information regarding Kingsport Central Dispatch, please visit the following links:

https://www.KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Department/Administrative_Bureau/Central_Dispatch/

http://Kingsport911.org/

For assistance with the application process, please contact the City of Kingsport Human Resources Department by calling 423-229-9401. For questions regarding the position of Communications Specialist/Dispatcher, please call the Executive Director of Kingsport 9-1-1 at 423-229-9358.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: 4 Vehicle Crash Injures 3-Shuts Down Interstate 81 for 7 hours (Update)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: 4 Vehicle Crash Injures 3—Shuts Down Interstate 81 for 7 hours (Update)
DATE: September 26, 2022
CASE #: 22-017914
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Update: On the morning of September 25, 2022, Jonathan Alexander Merritt succumbed to his injuries sustained in the September 10th crash and died while still hospitalized. The associated investigation remains active and ongoing by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit.

As previously released:

On September 10, 2022 at approximately 12:40 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 near exit 63 (Airport Parkway) in Kingsport. Due to the serious and complex nature of the crash, the K.P.D. Traffic Unit was called to the scene to investigate. Their subsequent investigation determined the following:

A dark blue 2019 Ram 1500 pickup was northbound on I-81. Meanwhile, a white 2018 Ford Transit van, a white Freightliner tractor-trailer, and a white Chevrolet 1500 pickup were all traveling southbound on I-81. For reasons still under investigation, the Ram pickup crossed the grass median and began traveling north directly into southbound traffic. The Ram pickup struck the side of the Ford van and then the front of the Freightliner tractor-trailer.

The Chevrolet pickup then ran off the right side of the road to avoid colliding with the other vehicles, but ended up traveling up an embankment, striking a tree, and rolling over. The Ram pickup caught on fire which further damaged it. The fire then spread to the double trailers (owned by FedEx) which were being pulled by the Freightliner.

The driver and passenger of the Freightliner sustained suspected minor injuries and were transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area hospital for treatment. The driver of the Ram pickup, Jonathan Alexander Merritt (29 years of age of Salisbury, MD), sustained suspected major injuries and was also transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area hospital for treatment. As of the latest information received, he remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The crash resulted in the complete closure of southbound I-81 and partial closure of northbound I-81 for approximately seven hours. Temporary detours were put in place by TDOT during the closure. By 8:00 PM, all lanes were back open, and normal traffic patterns had resumed.

This crash remains under open and active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit. As such, no further details are available for release at this time.

COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #1
Make Ram
Model 1500
Year 2019
Type Full-size Pickup
Color Dark Blue
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Jonathan Alexander Merritt
Age 29 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Salisbury, MD
Injuries Suspected Major Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #2
Make Ford
Model Transit
Year 2018
Type Large Van
Color White
Damage Functional Damage
Driver Name Ariel Alberto Garza
Age 50 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Brownsville, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Adolfo Aguilar Banda
Age 61 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Dallas, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Florencio Gonzalez
Age 41 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Starr, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Luis Angel Nunez
Age 22 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Monte Alto, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Norge Zamora Vazquez
Age 31 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Houston, TX
Injuries No Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #3
Make Freightliner
Model Tractor-Trailer
Year 2017
Type Tractor-Trailer
Color White
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Leandr Del Rosario Leon
Age 41 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Philadelphia, PA
Injuries Suspected Minor Injury
Passenger Name Leon Tyrese Goode, Jr.
Age 30 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Philadelphia, PA
Injuries Suspected Minor Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #4
Make Chevrolet
Model 1500
Year 2020
Type Pickup
Color White
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Max Alfonso Hidalgo
Age 53 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Fort Bend, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Darren Dewayne Taplin, Jr.
Age 28 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Centreville, MS
Injuries No Injury
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: 4 Vehicle Crash Injures 3-Shuts Down Interstate 81 for 7 hours

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: 4 Vehicle Crash Injures 3—Shuts Down Interstate 81 for 7 hours
DATE: September 11, 2022
CASE #: 22-017914
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On September 10, 2022 at approximately 12:40 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 near exit 63 (Airport Parkway) in Kingsport. Due to the serious and complex nature of the crash, the K.P.D. Traffic Unit was called to the scene to investigate. Their subsequent investigation determined the following:

A dark blue 2019 Ram 1500 pickup was northbound on I-81. Meanwhile, a white 2018 Ford Transit van, a white Freightliner tractor-trailer, and a white Chevrolet 1500 pickup were all traveling southbound on I-81. For reasons still under investigation, the Ram pickup crossed the grass median and began traveling north directly into southbound traffic. The Ram pickup struck the side of the Ford van and then the front of the Freightliner tractor-trailer.

The Chevrolet pickup then ran off the right side of the road to avoid colliding with the other vehicles, but ended up traveling up an embankment, striking a tree, and rolling over. The Ram pickup caught on fire which further damaged it. The fire then spread to the double trailers (owned by FedEx) which were being pulled by the Freightliner.

The driver and passenger of the Freightliner sustained suspected minor injuries and were transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area hospital for treatment. The driver of the Ram pickup, Jonathan Alexander Merritt (29 years of age of Salisbury, MD), sustained suspected major injuries and was also transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area hospital for treatment. As of the latest information received, he remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The crash resulted in the complete closure of southbound I-81 and partial closure of northbound I-81 for approximately seven hours. Temporary detours were put in place by TDOT during the closure. By 8:00 PM, all lanes were back open, and normal traffic patterns had resumed.

This crash remains under open and active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit. As such, no further details are available for release at this time.

COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #1
Make Ram
Model 1500
Year 2019
Type Full-size Pickup
Color Dark Blue
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Jonathan Alexander Merritt
Age 29 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Salisbury, MD
Injuries Suspected Major Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #2
Make Ford
Model Transit
Year 2018
Type Large Van
Color White
Damage Functional Damage
Driver Name Ariel Alberto Garza
Age 50 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Brownsville, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Adolfo Aguilar Banda
Age 61 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Dallas, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Florencio Gonzalez
Age 41 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Starr, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Luis Angel Nunez
Age 22 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Monte Alto, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Norge Zamora Vazquez
Age 31 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Houston, TX
Injuries No Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #3
Make Freightliner
Model Tractor-Trailer
Year 2017
Type Tractor-Trailer
Color White
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Leandr Del Rosario Leon
Age 41 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Philadelphia, PA
Injuries Suspected Minor Injury
Passenger Name Leon Tyrese Goode, Jr.
Age 30 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Philadelphia, PA
Injuries Suspected Minor Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION #4
Make Chevrolet
Model 1500
Year 2020
Type Pickup
Color White
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Max Alfonso Hidalgo
Age 53 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Fort Bend, TX
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Darren Dewayne Taplin, Jr.
Age 28 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Centreville, MS
Injuries No Injury
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton