A Knoxville man who allegedly crashed a vehicle that had been reported stolen was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he fled into an area between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex in west Oak Ridge, authorities said.
The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the single-vehicle crash on State Route 95 at 2:19 p.m. Wednesday, September 16. The crash occurred as the vehicle left the roadway while proceeding northbound, between Bethel Valley Road and Bear Creek Road, a City of Oak Ridge press release said.
The driver of the crashed vehicle fled eastbound on foot toward the federal sites before officers arrived, the release said. Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory protective force security officers were notified due to the close proximity to the federal reservations.
“Pro Force Security personnel located and detained the driver of the vehicle almost an hour later in a wooded area on ORNL property, east of Highway 95,” the release said.
The driver, identified as Eric Pederson 35, of Knoxville, had also previously struck a vehicle near White Wing Dam on Highway 95 before he crashed a short distance down the road, the release said. ORPD personnel then verified that the vehicle Pederson had crashed had been reported stolen in Knoxville.
ORPD officers arrested Pederson and took him to the Roane County Detention Facility, where he was charged with hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while license revoked, and theft by possession ($10,000-$60,000).
“ORPD appreciates the coordination and assistance of the ORNL Security Force and the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, whose assistance was invaluable in capturing and charging Mr. Pederson,” the release said.
The ORPD said it sent out immediate notification of this incident as it progressed to subscribed users of Nixle, which included advice to avoid the area of Highway 95 and Bethel Valley Road due to enhanced law enforcement activity and not to pick up hitchhikers during the search for the suspect.
Anyone can sign up for ORPD alerts at http://local.nixle.com/oak-ridge-police-department/ or by simply texting “37830” to 888-777 to receive mobile alerts, or they can follow ORPD on Twitter or Facebook.
Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.