Note: This story was last updated at 8 a.m. Jan. 16.
An Oak Ridge police officer on Friday disputed the claim that the throttle might have been stuck on a pickup truck in a fatal July 4 crash at Midtown Community Center immediately after fireworks in A.K. Bissell Park.
Police say they’ve found no evidence of a malfunction in a Dodge Ram pickup driven backward through the crowded parking lot that night by Lee Cromwell of Oak Ridge, and there were no active recalls on the truck that would have affected the throttle. Police also used witness statements to help refute the stuck-throttle theory during a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court on Friday, January 15.
“Several of them (witnesses) said they heard his engine revving up and down,” Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Ben Higgins testified during the hearing. “If the throttle had been stuck, it would have been stuck at a consistent rpm, not up and down.”
Also Friday morning, Julia Robinson testified. She is the widow of the 37-year-old man who died, James Robinson of Knoxville. The couple was at the Midtown Community Center watching fireworks with their two daughters and a relative. [Read more…]