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Grand jury won't indict Kingsport teen in crash that killed motorcyclist

Kacie Dingus Breeding • Feb 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — A Sullivan County grand jury on Wednesday did not support indicting a 19-year-old SUV driver in connection with an October 2007 motorcycle fatality.

The evidence failed to show that Mikel S. Bowery, 1345 Warpath Drive, was criminally negligent in the Oct. 21 Lincoln Street crash that killed Elmer J. “Butch” Snodgrass, 64, of 806 Birch St., Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Greeley Wells said.

A pathology report indicated Snodgrass’ cause of death after the crash was a torn aorta that caused internal bleeding, Wells said.

Kingsport Police Department Patrolman Dale Farmer said Wednesday that it’s his understanding that the size of the tear could be the reason it took so long for symptoms to appear after the crash.

Farmer said a few days after the crash that Snodgrass “was talking to our officers, talking to the medics, things like that — on the way to the hospital is when he started deteriorating, from what I understand.”

KPD Officer Josh Hardin’s initial crash report spoke of inconsistencies in the statements of the drivers. Farmer said Wednesday that his investigation addressed the possibility of whether one of the two drivers might have been attempting a U-turn.

Neither witnesses’ statements nor an investigation of the crash scene supported that possibility, Farmer said.

Bowery will be issued a misdemeanor citation for failure to yield in connection with the crash, Farmer said.

Bowery collided with Snodgrass’ bike while changing lanes on Lincoln Street. He told investigators he had planned to turn onto Wilcox Drive.

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