By Chris Carroll
A Hamilton County man is charged with criminal homicide in the Wednesday night death of his girlfriend, who was dragged down Cummings Highway by a moving vehicle, police said.
The identity of suspect John Thomas White’s girlfriend will not be released until family members are notified, Chattanooga Police Department Sgt. Jerri Weary said today.
Police responded to reports of a lifeless pedestrian in the road around 9 p.m. Wednesday, said police Lt. Tim Carroll, head of major crimes.
He said it soon became clear the woman either grabbed hold of a moving vehicle or somehow fell from a moving vehicle in the 3200 block of the highway, he said.
“She was dragged for a good distance,” Lt. Carroll said.
Witnesses told police they saw a pickup truck dragging a person down Cummings Highway. Investigators determined the victim, 27, was dragged by her boyfriend, the 36-year-old Mr. White, after an argument at Critter’s Bar. The bar is in the 2800 block of Cummings Highway.
According to witnesses, Mr. White came into the bar sometime after 8:30 p.m. to get the victim. As he got up to leave, the woman followed and tried to get into the back of Mr. White’s truck. As she was doing so, Mr. White drove off with her clinging to the tailgate, police were told.
After trying to hold on for more than a mile, the victim lost her hold, fell and was run over by the rear of the vehicle, according to police.
Police said Mr. White then drove to his home at 20 West End Ave., where he argued with his sister, Gail White, about the incident involving his girlfriend. As Gail White tried to leave the home and check on the victim, she lost control of her vehicle at 18 West End Ave. and flipped her car into a culvert, according to police.
Ms. White was taken to Erlanger hospital for injuries she sustained in the accident, and her current condition is unknown, police said.