published Thursday, December 6th, 2012

3 hurt in bus, SUV crash and other news from the areas around Chattanooga

CLEVELAND, Tenn.

3 hurt in bus, SUV crash

The driver whose Ford Explorer crashed into a small school bus on U.S. Highway 11 in Bradley County on Wednesday was in critical condition at Erlanger, authorities said.

The crash happened just before 7 a.m. when the Explorer crossed the center line on north Lee Highway and the bus struck it in the side, said Gary Austin, director of pupil services for Bradley County Schools. Both lanes of the highway were blocked until about 10 a.m., Bradley Sheriff's Office spokesman Bob Gault said.

The Explorer's driver was thrown from the vehicle and was in critical condition, Gault said. He was taken to Erlanger hospital by ambulance.

The bus driver and the lone student in the bus were treated at SkyRidge Medical Center in Cleveland after the early morning crash,

None of the names of the people involved were released.


FORT PAYNE, Ala.

Stolen property swapped for meth

DaKalb County, Ala., authorities have charged a man who they say swapped a stolen Bobcat loader, a Chevrolet truck and a lawn mower for methamphetamine.

Johnny Dewayne Croley, 36, of the Whiton community, is suspected of taking about $80,000 worth of property stolen in the area and as far as Washington state, Sheriff Jimmy Harris in a news release.

Investigators found the property in a search of Croley's property, which is off County Road 3, Harris said. Croley was charged with three counts of receiving stolen property and receiving stolen property 2nd degree and is currently in the county jail on a $87,500 bond.

This was Croley's second theft-related arrest this year. He was free on bond from a February charge of receiving stolen property, Harris said.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn.

Road rage assault costly

A judge in Murfreesboro has awarded the victim of a road rage assault more than $1 million.

According to The Daily News Journal, the award Monday to Tony Lynch was one of the largest in recent times by Rutherford County Chancery Court.

The defendant in the lawsuit was Matt Garrett, who was convicted of reckless aggravated assault in a 2010 criminal trial.

Attorneys Howard Wilson and Kris Oliver represented Lynch. Wilson said his client was punched and fell to the ground unconscious, striking his head on the asphalt. Medical witnesses testified Lynch was permanently disabled.

Garrett had claimed he struck Lynch in self-defense, fearing Lynch had a gun.

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