|Kingsport Police Department
200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)
|SUBJECT:||Pedestrian Killed by Vehicle in Hit-and-Run Collision|
|DATE:||June 24, 2014|
|On June 23, 2014 just prior to 8:00 PM, a pedestrian, Michael K. Locke, 61 years of age, of Kingsport, was killed in a hit-and-run motor vehicle collision. Mr. Locke was standing on the shoulder of a Fort Henry Drive bridge just north of Sonic Drive-In, located at 3845 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport. A northbound 2003 GMC Yukon XL driven by James D. Hamm, Jr. veered from the traffic lane onto the shoulder, striking Mr. Locke with the right side of the vehicle, knocking him off of the bridge into a ravine approximately twenty feet below. Mr. Locke and another man were in the process of hanging a campaign sign on the roadside when the incident occurred.
Mr. Hamm fled the scene, continuing to drive north on Fort Henry Drive, then turning north on John B. Dennis Highway. He took the next exit to Memorial Boulevard but mysteriously stopped on the shoulder of the exit ramp. Sensing something was amiss, an alert passing motorist stopped and took possession of the vehicle’s keys until Kingsport Police Patrol Officers arrived and took Mr. Hamm into custody. Mr. Hamm exhibited multiple indicators typically consistent with someone under the influence of an intoxicant. He was charged with Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication, Driving Under the Influence, Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision Involving a Fatality, and Failure to Maintain Proper Control of a Vehicle. He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail where he remained confined pending arraignment.
Investigators from the K.P.D. Traffic Unit and Criminal Investigations Division responded. Further inquiry revealed that moments before the fatal collision, Mr. Hamm had stopped at Colonial Heights Package Store, located at 4311 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport. After making a purchase, Mr. Hamm returned to his vehicle which he had left parked facing the store. Rather than back from his parking space, he drove forward over the curb, across a sidewalk, and into the exterior wall of the business. There was no damage to the building; however, a pedestal ash tray was crushed when it was sandwiched between the vehicle and the building. Mr. Hamm then fled the parking lot northbound on Fort Henry Drive, driving directly to the scene where the fatality would occur approximately one mile away.
This is still an open and active investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident at Colonial Heights Package Store, the fatal collision, the location where Mr. Hamm eventually stopped, or any of his driving in between any of these key points is asked to contact the K.P.D. Traffic Unit as soon as possible at 423-224-2750.
|Name||Michael K. Locke|
|Age||61 Years of Age|
|COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION|
|Type||Full-Size Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Name||James D. Hamm, Jr.|
|Age||Date of Birth 10/16/1969
44 Years of Age
|Residency||304 Millington Court
|Charge(s)||1) Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication
2) Driving Under the Influence
3) Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision Involving a Fatality
4) Failure to Maintain Proper Control of a Vehicle
|Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit