Questions After ATV and KSP Cruiser Collide

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

A man recovers from serious injuries after his ATV collides with a state police cruiser. The injured man's family is making a plea for anyone who witnessed the crash to come forward.

The crash happened Friday night along Highway 317 in the Neon community of Letcher County. The family of Tommy Newman, 42, is still wondering how and why this happened.

Some of Newman's family members returned to the scene of the crash Monday, hoping to find answers. The only thing they found was his shattered glasses.

"We need to find out what actually happened because he wants to know why, we all want to know why," said Newman's sister, Debbie Short.

State police say Trooper Ben Campbell was attempting to stop Newman for riding this ATV on a state highway. They claim Trooper Campbell had to act fast when Newman stopped suddenly.

"He made an evasive maneuver and went around the ATV, into the other lane of traffic and then the atv cuts a hard left into the side of his cruiser," said Trooper Tony Watts.

Newman was thrown from the ATV, suffering several facial injuries and broken bones. His family provided a picture of Newman shortly after the crash.

At least one person who saw the crash tells a different story than police. Newman's family was told the trooper was responding with lights and sirens to another call. They say Newman remembers pulling off to the side of the road before the crash.

"All he can remember is the car dropping off the road. He said he remembered that cop dropping off the road," added Short.

"It's unfortunate the accident happened and we hope that he recovers well from his injuries. I'm sure the trooper intended nothing for this to happen," added Trooper Watts.

State police say criminal charges are pending in this case, but are not saying what those include.

Newman remains at Holston Valley Medical Center in fair condition Monday night.

He was not wearing a helmet.

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