ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County rescuers searched several hours late Tuesday night for a man with a broken leg who told a Hawkins County 911 dispatcher he was lost in Stanley Valley near the Virginia state line.
Hawkins County Central Dispatch received that 911 call around 7:30 p.m. from the victim on his cell phone.
Unbeknownst to police and rescuers, the victim later received a ride to the Holston Valley Medical Center, where he arrived around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday.
The victim subsequently underwent surgery for the leg injury and was recovering in the hospital Wednesday.
Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Allen told the Times-News on Wednesday there were at least 25 people searching for the man throughout the night, including a about dozen members of Church Hill EMS, members of the Stanley Valley and Carters Valley volunteer fire departments and the HCSO.
The HCSO also conducted an investigation that included receiving a subpoena to “ping” — or track — the cell phone that the victim used to call 911.
Church Hill EMS continued searching until shortly past midnight, and the HCSO was investigating well past 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Authorities discovered around 9 a.m. Wednesday that the victim had been delivered to HVMC Tuesday evening.
“Somebody dropped him off (at the hospital) and we don’t know who that was, and we can’t talk to him (the victim) because he’s been in surgery,” Allen said Wednesday. “We don’t believe any foul play took place. He just fell.”
With so much manpower and other resources having been used during the search, Allen said the HCSO plans to interview the victim today and conduct an investigation into what happened. Allen estimated the overall cost of the search in excess of $5,000.
Allen said he doesn’t anticipate a criminal investigation into the incident.
The 911 call was legitimate, Allen added, but he there are many unanswered questions surrounding the incident.