City man charged in accident

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   A city man was arrested and charged in connection with a weekend hit-and-run accident that left him and five other persons injured.
   Joseph D. Cart, 43, 608 Trudy St., was charged with second offense DUI, driving on a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident. He was also served with a warrant charging him with violation of probation and a capias charging him with failure to serve jail time.
   According to reports, Cart was traveling north on Watauga Avenue in front of Ivy Hall Nursing Home when he struck another vehicle from behind. The second vehicle, a 2001 Pontiac, was driven by Robin E. Johnson, 37, of 614 Garrison Hollow Road. Johnson was also traveling north on Watauga Avenue.
   Dreama Trusler and three juveniles, all four of whom were passengers in Johnson's vehicle, were transported by Carter County Rescue Squad personnel along with Johnson to Sycamore Shoals Hospital.
   Johnson stated that as she was driving down Watauga Avenue, Cart's vehicle struck the rear end of her vehicle twice, ramming her car into three others parked along the side of the road.
   After striking Johnson's car and the others which were parked on the side of the road, Cart fled the scene, but witnesses told police the car was driven by someone known to them as "Doug" who stayed at a residence at 732 Watauga Ave.
   While investigating the accident, officers were notified by Emergency Medical Services personnel that they had been dispatched to that residence on reports of a male subject who was in a car wreck and had suffered head injuries and was bleeding from the face.
   "911 advised that the caller stated the male patient had been combative and had torn the residence apart. Officers stood by at that location," states Elizabethton Police Department Ptl. Joy Shoun in her report. "EMS personnel requested officer assistance in entering the house due to the nature of the call."
   At that residence, EMS workers checked the subject, who was later identified as Cart, and he refused further treatment for scratches and cuts to his head and face. According to reports, Cart had a strong odor of alcohol about his person and his speech was slurred. Reports also state that the injuries which Cart had sustained were consistent with those of a person who had been in a motor vehicle accident.
   Officers conducted a warrant check on Cart and discovered the outstanding warrant and capias on him and took him into custody on those charges.
   The vehicle which Cart had been driving was later located by officers at a residence on Jackson Avenue which was owned by Cart's uncle. Damage on that vehicle was consistent with the damage in the accident.
   According to a report by EPD Ptl. Michael Sproviero, the vehicle was owned by Latisha Thomas, who resides at 732 Watauga Ave., the residence where officers located Cart following the accident.
   Thomas arrived at the residence while officers were there and advised officers that Cart did not have permission to drive her vehicle and filed a report with officers stating that.
   According to EPD Ptl. Carl Burrough, who was the investigating officer in the accident, Cart was traveling approximately 50-60 miles per hour at the time of the crash in a posted 20 miles per hour zone. Burrough stated that further charges against Cart are pending the completion of the investigation.