Tennessee Highway Patrol officer dragged by car on I-75 in Loudon County
JILL MCNEAL 6 News Anchor/Reporter
PHILADELPHIA, Tenn. (WATE) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that an officer was dragged by a car during a traffic stop for possible DUI Friday morning around 8:15 a.m. on Interstate 75 at mile marker 68.
The suspect vehicle took off during the stop, dragging him a short distance. Trooper Eric Miller pulled his gun and fired at the suspects, but no one was injured. Officials say passenger Daulton Brotherton, 19, left the car and called 911. A Loudon County deputy and trooper responded and took him into custody.
The car was found on Pond Creek Road about two miles from the interstate. Daulton's father and the driver of the car, Nessie Brotherton, 50, was found in the woods nearby along with the other passenger, Ralph McNabb, 45.
"I heard gunfire, five or six shots, over that way. I was setting up this table right here and I stepped back from behind the fence because if there's gunfire I don't want to be in the way," said Dana Dungey, who was selling plants right off the exit on Pond Creek Road. She says an officer came by soon after the gunshots, asking if she'd seen a gold Buick sedan speeding by.
"I said no, I hadn't and he said I had to leave here and go stay at the store until they found the guys," Dungey said. "I just left everything where it was."
News of the arrests was welcome at Loudon County schools, which all went on lockdown after the shooting.
"Here we just kind of call it like it is and got on the PA and told students and faculty that we were on a soft lock down and not in any imminent danger," said Loudon High School principal Cheri Parrish.
All outside doors were locked and no one was let in or out of the building, but the lock down lasted less than an hour.
Officials say the three suspects didn't have any warrants out against them when they were stopped. They are being held in the Loudon County jail.
In addition to collecting evidence from the two scenes, investigators will be reviewing dash cam video from the trooper's patrol car to find out exactly what happened.