Sumner Co. Man Runs Over Friend With Tractor, Flees Scene - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Sumner Co. Man Runs Over Friend With Tractor, Flees Scene

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by Adam Ghassemi

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. – A man was arrested after police said he ran over a friend with a tractor, killing him, and then left the scene.

James David Perry, 57, was charged with reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving on a revoked license.

Authorities said the victim, Ronald Blankenship, was riding on the back fender of the tractor while Perry was driving along Dutch Creek Road on Wednesday night.

Blankenship fell off, and Perry told investigators that he ran off into the ditch trying to avoid Blankenship, and hit a tree.

When he stopped, he found Blankenship under the tractor. Believing he was dead, Perry told authorities he left the scene because he was scared.

Authorities said both men had been drinking.

Neighbor Amanda Fuller's family owns the property where the accident happened. "It breaks your heart. Sad that people are in that shape that they would run away from that kind of accident," Fuller said.

Initially, police had thought it was a hit-and-run crash, but witnesses had seen Perry and Blankenship on the tractor prior to the accident, and later saw Perry leaving the scene alone.

According to officials, they found also blue paint chips from the tractor at the scene.

Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford said, "You can see the house from where this happened. If he would have went up there and just called us to come and work the scene as an accident it would have been avoided."

Perry had a revoked license for a DUI and for driving on a revoked license and failure to file insurance after his conviction.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
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