ROGERSVILLE - A Tuesday morning wreck in a rural area of Hawkins County left one man in critical condition, and also resulted in a meth lab seizure.
As of Tuesday evening the driver, Curtis Carpenter, 32, 697 Lee Valley Road, Rogersville, was listed in critical condition at Holston Valley Medical Center.
Carpenter is suspected by Hawkins County Sheriff's Office investigators of several crimes including manufacturing meth and possession of meth with intent to deliver.
Sheriff Roger Christian said Tuesday that Carpenter was already being investigated by the HCSO Narcotics Unit when the accident occurred.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Billy Collier investigated the morning accident and allegedly found Carpenter in possession of 3 grams of meth.
According to reports, Carpenter was traveling east on Cloud's Creek Road west of Rogersville Tuesday morning when his vehicle ran off the right side of the road. His lone passenger, whose name was not released Tuesday, was injured, but those injuries weren't life threatening.
"Mr. Carpenter was already known to our Narcotics Unit, and they were attempting to compile enough evidence to obtain a search warrant when this accident occurred and provided us with the final piece of the puzzle," Christian said. "He was frequenting a farm at the end of Cloud's Creek Road which we believe belongs to his father, and he was coming from that farm when the accident occurred. Between the meth that was found on him and other intelligence we'd acquired through this investigation we were able to obtain a search warrant for that property.
"We found a medium-size lab with the components and some of the ingredients in an old abandoned vehicle parked on the property approximately 200 yards from the dwelling."
Christian said Carpenter won't be charged with a crime at least until he has recuperated from his injuries.
"I heard that his injuries were pretty serious, and at one time they said he was in surgery," Christian said.
Carpenter is currently free on bond from Hamblen County on assorted meth charges and may be facing bond revocation proceedings in Morristown when he recovers.