Police: Tanker driver was going too fast
Kingsport man charged in burglary
Crockett students won't face charges
Hampton Elementary locked down
Squirrel blamed for power outage
Man shoots wife, self in murder-suicide
WISE - Police say a Wise County man fatally shot his wife on Wednesday then inflicted a fatal gunshot wound to himself. Wise County Sheriff's Department investigators determined from evidence at the scene of the 6727 Birchfield Road residence, located just outside the town of Wise, that William Matt Johnson, 75, fatally shot his wife, 73-year-old Emogene Johnson, then shot himself shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. Emogene Johnson was dead at the scene. William Johnson died from his wounds later that evening at Mountainview Medical Center in Norton. Authorities said Thursday that forensic evidence and documentation found in the residence made it "evident that William Johnson shot Emogene Johnson and then a short time later shot himself." Autopsies will be performed by the Virginia Medical Examiner's Office in Roanoke.
KNOXVILLE - A tanker truck was traveling too fast on an interstate flyover ramp when it toppled on its side and burst into flames, killing the driver, police said. Wesley Shane Mounger, 36, of Fall Branch, was killed early Monday on the Interstate 640 ramp that connects to Interstate 40 near downtown. Investigators found Mounger was driving "faster than conditions allowed," and the tanker loaded with gasoline jackknifed and fell on its side, police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said. The tanker ignited, and the intense fire damaged the pavement and road signs and spread as the dripping gasoline caught fire. The ramp was closed for several hours. The truck, owned by Barger Leasing Inc. of Scott County, Va., was carrying 8,600 to 8,800 gallons of gasoline and was headed to Gatlinburg to make a delivery.
JOHNSON CITY - A Kingsport man was behind bars Thursday following his arrest by Johnson City police. According to authorities, Derrick C. Groff, 132 Copas Road, No. 5, Kingsport, was charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000 as the result of an investigation into a burglary that occurred at Hamilton Meats, 1780 Old Gray Station Road. Groff allegedly forced entry into the business and stole more than $1,000 in property. He was being held in the Washington County Detention Center on $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in sessions court Monday to answer to the charges.
JONESBOROUGH - Washington County Director of Schools Grant Rowland confirmed Thursday that no criminal charges are being sought against 12 David Crockett High School students who allegedly stole $6,500 from a vendor at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rowland said the 12 student-athletes worked at an Arby's concession over race weekend. "The money was recovered, but we're still looking into the situation. We are handling the situation, and each student has been suspended," he said.
HAMPTON - Hampton Elementary School was locked down for more than an hour Thursday morning after the school received calls from a parent who allegedly made threats toward his child. "We investigated and it was over a father who was upset that his 14-year-old son did not get out of bed," Sheriff Chris Mathes said. "After we interviewed him, we found no signs of domestic violence or child abuse." He said the matter was referred to the Department of Children's Services. "We felt we needed to take a proactive stance," Jack James, 5-8 principal at the school, said Thursday. "The problem was outside the school at the home, but we did not want to take chances. We contacted the sheriff's office with our information, and our officer patrolled the parking lot. We were in lockdown for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Our goal is to keep our kids safe. If we inconvenienced any parent, we didn't mean to. We just want to be very careful."
GRAY - An adventurous squirrel was to blame for a power outage in Gray Thursday morning that left thousands of Johnson City Power Board customers in the dark. The squirrel got into the Gray power substation Thursday morning, taking out all four breakers at the station and causing an estimated 4,800 customers to lose power minutes before 8 a.m. The outage affected those living throughout the entire Gray area. Workers had power restored to all customers in about 20 minutes, according to JCPB officials.