Police arrest driver of truck in deadly hit-and-run crash

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office arrested the driver in a deadly hit-and-run crash.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 10:21 AM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2023 at 2:41 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Blount County Sheriff’s Office officials said they identified the driver who left the scene following a deadly crash on Cunningham Road West in Seymour on May 14.

Deputies with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office arrested 31-year-old Jeremy Shaun Valentine of Knoxville on Friday evening charging Valentine with leaving the scene of an accident with injury police said.

Charles R. Clark, 75, of Regent Lane, Kodak, was taken by AMR Ambulance Service to U.T. Medical Center and passed away at the hospital Wednesday evening. His wife, Theresa Clark, 71, was also taken to the hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the...
The Blount County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the driver and vehicle that left the scene following a fatal crash on Cunningham Road.(BCSO)

Deputies were called to the crash shortly after 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Officials said Clark was traveling east on Cunningham Road West in Seymour when a late model blue full-size Ford pick-up truck heading west crossed the centerline, hit Clark’s vehicle head-on and fled the scene.

A witness from a residence nearby told deputies he saw the blue pick-up truck back up and drive off following the crash.

Investigators said that their investigation led deputies to identify the vehicle on Friday that was a late model Dodge Ram pick-up truck, and then to Valentine as the owner of the vehicle and the suspect in the hit-and-run. Deputies took Valentine into custody Friday evening at a location on Tipton Station Road. Deputies also located Valentine’s damaged pick-up truck at an automobile body shop in Knoxville.

“I am very pleased we were able to identify and arrest the person who was responsible for this tragic accident,” Sheriff James Lee Berrong said. “Several deputies worked long hours throughout the week, following up on multiple leads, to identify the suspect and the vehicle in this hit-and-run accident. I am pleased that we were able to bring some closure to Mrs. Clark and her family, but it saddens me that someone died due to Mr. Valentine’s negligence. It was made worse when he fled the scene instead of owning up to his responsibility. My condolences to the Clark family. We pray this arrest brings you some closure.”

Valentine is being held in the Blount County Correctional Facility on a $150,000 bond pending a hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. May 22, 2023.