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Police say hit-and-run suspect left injured child with mom, fled on foot

Jeff Bobo • May 27, 2020 at 8:45 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — A Kingsport man was being held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending a court hearing Wednesday after he allegedly caused a wreck in Mount Carmel with his unrestrained 3-year-old in the vehicle last Thursday afternoon.

Mount Carmel Police Department Officer Casey Carter stated in his report that Charles Tyler Jones, 28, 250 Summerville Road, then fled the crash scene involving two other vehicles on Carters Valley Road and took his injured daughter to a nearby restaurant where the child’s mother is employed.

Jones then allegedly left the child with her mother and fled on foot, but was eventually captured in a nearby field.

MCPD Chief Ken Lunsford Jr. told the Times News Tuesday that the child’s head injury initially looked bad due to swelling, but it turned out not to be serious. The child was treated at Holston Valley Medical Center and released.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Carter responded to a three vehicle hit-and-run crash at the intersection of Carters Valley Road and McCracken Lane.

Jones was reportedly traveling westbound on Carters Valley Road when he came upon a vehicle containing a woman and a child in his lane attempting to turn left onto McCracken Lane. Jones allegedly crossed the center line into the eastbound lane to pass the vehicle, just as the vehicle initiated its left turn.

As a result, Jones reportedly T-boned that vehicle in the driver’s door, and then struck a vehicle with a lone female occupant preparing to turn right from McCracken Lane onto Carters Valley Road. None of the others involved in the crash were injured.

Jones then allegedly drove to a restaurant at the intersection of Carters Valley Road and Independence Avenue.

When Carter arrived at the restaurant, he was told by a witness that Jones had fled on foot. A short time later, Hawkins County Central Dispatch began receiving reports of a man running through a field, and Jones was subsequently arrested.

Jones was charged with child abuse/neglect, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, violation of the child restraint law, evading arrest by foot, failure to exercise due care and no insurance.

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