Man charged with striking pedestrian, fleeing scene of crash

Published 5:35 pm Monday, July 24, 2017

A Carter County man faces multiple charges after police say he fled the scene of an accident after striking a pedestrian.

Officers with the Elizabethton Police Department arrested Tyler James Carr, 26, 156 Bobs Hollow Road, Elizabethton, on Friday and charged him with vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident involving death or injury, third offense driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, and violation of the implied consent law.

Shortly before 7 p.m. on Friday, officers were dispatched to the parking lot of Sav-A-Lot after 911 received a call about a pedestrian being struck by a car in the parking lot. A witness to the accident provided 911 with a description of the vehicle and tag number.

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Officers at the scene of the accident spoke with the man who was allegedly struck. He told officers he was pushing a cart through the parking lot when Carr’s vehicle struck the cart, knocking both him and the cart over.

A short time later, officers found the car traveling on Broad Street and performed a traffic stop. EPD Officer James Stevens spoke with the driver, who was identified as Carr. Stevens said Carr admitted he struck the pedestrian and then fled the scene.

While speaking with Carr, Stevens noted the man’s speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. Carr performed poorly on field sobriety tests, Stevens said, and he refused to submit to chemical testing to see if any alcohol or drugs were in his system. Officers obtained a search warrant signed by a local judge ordering a blood sample be taken for testing. The sample was collected at a local hospital, Stevens said.

On Monday morning, Carr appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court for arraignment. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Carr.

Prior to the court appearance, Carr was being held without bond due to his prior convictions for DUI. Assistant Public Defender Dwayne Fortner asked Bowers to set a bond for Carr.

Bowers asked the State for their position on bond and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hill said the state was concern he would not return to court.

“With two prior DUIs, we’re concerned if he ran from the scene will he show up for court,” Hill said.

Bowers said he was concerned with the number of DUI charges Carr has accumulated during a short period of time.

“If he is convicted of this one it will be three in a year-and-a-half,” Bowers said. “I think Mr. Carr is going to kill someone or himself.”

According to court records, Carr was convicted of DUI on March 21, 2016, and again on July 21, 2016. He finished his probation on the first DUI conviction in May of this year and is currently serving 11 months and 29 days probation on the second DUI conviction.

“I’m setting his bond at $100,000,” Bowers said. “Quite frankly, I tempted to go higher.”

As a condition of bond, Bowers ordered that Carr be outfitted with an ankle monitor device which will detect the presence of drugs or alcohol in his system. Bowers further ordered Carr to not use alcohol or drugs as a condition of bond, stating Carr would have his bond revoked if he tested positive for drugs or alcohol.

Carr is scheduled to return to General Sessions Court on August 8.