KPD e-News Release: Suspect Indicted and Arrested in 2016 Orebank Road Crash that Seriously Injured Pedestrian

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

SUBJECT: Suspect Indicted and Arrested in 2016 Orebank Road Crash that Seriously Injured Pedestrian
DATE: June 22, 2017
CASE #: 16-018910 (Crash)

17-014994 (Arrest)

A suspect has recently been indicted and arrested in a 2016 Orebank Road crash that seriously injured a pedestrian. The details of the investigation are as follows:

On September 2, 2016 at approximately 7:00 PM, Kingsport Central Dispatch was notified of a crash involving a pedestrian in the 5000 block of Orebank Road in Kingsport. Officers of the Kingsport Police Department Patrol Division responded. Due to the serious nature of the injuries to those involved, Crash Reconstructionists from the K.P.D. Traffic Unit were called to the scene, with their resultant investigation rendering the following:

Shari K. Rajoo was walking along a sidewalk that runs parallel to the roadway in the 5000 block of Orebank Road. She was accompanied by several family members; however, she was walking slightly behind the rest of the group.

Meanwhile, a 1995 Ford Ranger pickup, driven by James Richard Smith, was westbound in the same block of Orebank Road, negotiating a curve to the right. Mr. Smith failed to keep the truck in the proper lane, allowing it to cross the center line and the oncoming lane, and run off the left side of the roadway. He swerved back onto the road surface, but in doing so overcorrected, putting the truck into an unrecoverable spin.

Now completely out of control, the truck ran off the left side of the road a second time and crossed the sidewalk, striking Ms. Rajoo. The pickup then crashed through a wooden fence and finally came to a rest in an adjacent grassy field.

Both Ms. Rajoo and Mr. Smith sustained serious incapacitating injuries in the crash and were rushed to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. for emergency treatment.

A blood sample was taken from Mr. Smith at the time of the crash and was sent to the T.B.I. Crime Lab for analysis. This crash has remained under active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit since that time with charges pending.

The results of the aforementioned blood test were received on December 5, 2016, and indicated that at the time of the crash, Mr. Smith had a significant level of Diazepam (Valium) in his system. He did not have a prescription for Valium and indicated that he had unlawfully purchased the drug from a friend, because he had run out of his other regularly prescribed medications.

On June 13, 2017 the facts of the case were presented to a Sullivan County Grand Jury. On June 19, 2017 a sealed indictment was returned, charging Mr. Smith with 1) Felony Reckless Aggravated Assault, 2) Felony Vehicular Assault, 3) Felony Reckless Endangerment, and 4) Driving Under the Influence.

On June 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM, Mr. Smith was arrested without incident at his place of employment on Bloomingdale Road. He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail where he remains confined, pending arraignment, in lieu of a $10,000 bond as specified by the presiding judge.

Name James Richard Smith
Age Date of Birth 11/13/1984

32 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 2145 Happy Hill Road, Lot #9

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Felony Reckless Aggravated Assault

2) Felony Vehicular Assault

3) Felony Reckless Endangerment

4) Driving Under the Influence

Make Ford
Model Ranger
Year 1995
Type Compact Pickup
Color Red
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name James Richard Smith
Age 32 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Serious Incapacitating Injuries
Name Shari K. Rajoo
Age 45 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/Indian
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Serious Incapacitating Injuries
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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