Crash of stolen dealership car nets Kingsport arrest

Rain Smith • Jul 24, 2018 at 1:58 PM

KINGSPORT — A Telford man who was driving a car stolen from a Johnson City dealership faces felony charges after he allegedly T-boned another vehicle, knocking that car against a building, and fled the scene.

According to reports at the Kingsport Police Department, the incident occurred at about 1:15 Monday afternoon.

The driver of a Chevrolet sedan attempted to turn left from East Sullivan Street onto Island Road but didn’t see a 2018 Volkswagen Passat coming in the other direction at an extremely high rate of speed.

A KPD crash report says the Volkswagen hit the passenger side of the Chevy, spinning it 180 degrees, back across East Sullivan and into the side of a building. Both vehicles suffered disabling damage, and the driver of the stolen vehicle, later identified as James O. Midkiff, ran away.

A witness to the crash gave chase, relaying Midkiff’s location over a cellphone to Kingsport Central Dispatch. Responding officers found Midkiff several blocks from the crash scene and took him into custody.

Police say Midkiff refused to make any statements, but authorities determined that his actions behind the wheel caused the collision.

The victim suffered no injuries.

Midkiff was charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crash.

Shortly after the incident, Wallace Imports in Johnson City reported the Passat as being stolen. A KPD report contains no details about the theft, but Midkiff was additionally charged with possession of stolen property over $10,000.

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