KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Stephen Jackson was walking his dog in Kingsport’s Ridgefields community Thursday evening when both were fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Jackson’s mother and sister spoke with News Channel 11 about the impact he had on his community, and how his dog Jack played a huge role in his life.
“It was like him to serve people, and it wasn’t just in church. It was his daily walk,” Jackson’s sister, Rachel Killen, said.
Jackson was a volunteer for Fun Fest, a nature lover who liked to hike and kayak with Jack, and an active member of his church where he was in a band.
“He would sing anything. He just had one of those voices that he could carry any song and just sing it beautifully,” Killen said. “He picked up a guitar without a lesson and could just play.”
Teresa Clark, Stephen’s mother, recalled the memories she shared with him and Jack. She said the two were “buddy buddies.”
“He was my buddy, too,” Clark said of Jack. “I was his nana.”
Jackson was walking his dog on Ridgefields Road when police say a car ran off the road and onto the sidewalk, fatally injuring Jackson and Jack.
The driver drove away from the scene.
Family members say the way Jackson touched the lives of others won’t be forgotten.
“It was just the way he saw people, how we can make someone smile, how he can make somebody’s life better,” Killen said.
Police identified the suspect as Jesse D. Carey, 28 of Kingsport. The police department obtained a warrant charging Carey with several crimes, including vehicular homicide by recklessness, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision resulting in death, and second offense driving on a revoked license.
The Kingsport Police Department is asking anyone with information on the hit-and-run or Carey’s location to contact KPD’s traffic unit at (423) 224-2750 or central dispatch at (423) 246-9111.