WJHL.com - Alleged "street racing" teens charged in connection to crash

Alleged "street racing" teens charged in connection to Blountville crash

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More than a year after witnesses said two street racing teens caused a crash in Blountville, prosecutors have now charged those teens in connection to the wreck.

Previously, following the year anniversary of the crash, Ellis Hicks shared his frustration at the lack of criminal charges for the teens involved.

Hicks suffered serious injuries in February 2012 after one of the cars involved traveled into his lane and hit him head-on.

Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Jim Goodwin said, the two teens were scheduled to appear in juvenile court Monday, but the hearing was reset. 

For now, the two are charged with being delinquents, but Goodwin says prosecutors want to have the case transferred to adult court.

A judge could make a decision in this case when the teens return to juvenile court for a transfer hearing on August 12th.



Victim in year-old street racing crash talks about life-changing injuries

Ellis Hicks says he suffered life-changing injuries after a teenager hit him head-on in a crash. Witnesses said the wreck on Highway 394 in Blountville was the result of a street race.

Yesterday marked the year anniversary of the crash. However, to date the two teens accused of street racing that day are still free and Hicks wants to know why,

"I saw them coming side-by-side and then he lost control," Hicks recalled. "It was horrific. It was just a flash. All I remember is I hollered, 'Oh,' real loud. I woke up, it broke my ribs and I couldn't catch my breath and I said, 'Lord, I'm dying.'"

At the time of the crash, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said one of the teens involved in that wreck crossed into the other lane of traffic and slammed into Ellis' pick-up truck.

In the year since, Hicks says he's had to close his business, he's needed a rod and pins in his leg and he continues to battle shoulder pain.

"Used to before that I could do just about anything I wanted to do, climb the hills, I deer hunt a lot with my grandson, fish, I'm not able to do that no more," Hicks said. "I'm not able to even pick up my granddaughter anymore. I don't sleep too much at night, it hurts so bad. My enjoyment's been took away"

While his life will never be the same again, Hicks wonders if the teens involved in the crash will continue to get to live their lives like normal.

"They've not done anything to them," Hicks said. "I'm worried about the young children at the high school thinking they can get away with doing this. They need to be punished and the parents need to take responsibility for what they've done."

Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Jim Goodwin says he can't say much about the case. However, from the sound of things, investigators and prosecutors continue to work behind the scenes.

"The office is pursuing the case in cooperation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the investigation is pending and is almost wrapped up," Goodwin said. "These cases are complex. They take many months to complete the investigation. It's typical in a crash case."

Hicks is trying to stay patient. He does not want the teens to go to jail, only be held responsible for changing his life forever.

"I don't want to see them punished all their life, because young boys will be boys, but they need to take responsibility for what they've done," Hicks said. "All I want is justice and I don't want to see it happen again with our young children."

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