published Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Driver dies in grain silo accident and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Driver dies in grain silo accident

ATHENS, Tenn. — A truck driver for Koch Foods was electrocuted Wednesday morning in McMinn County while unloading grain into a silo at a farm off County Road 609, authorities said.

Bill T. Dougherty, 63, of Talbott, Tenn., died after boom on the tanker he was driving made contact with power lines, Sheriff Joe Guy said in a news release.

"The end of the truck tanker where Mr. Dougherty was working quickly burst into flames and persons on the scene were unable to remove the victim," Guy said.

Dougherty's great-nephew Mark Bell, of Murfreesboro Tenn., said the family is waiting to see what the OSHA report will show regarding the accident, and specifically the low-hanging power lines at the farm.

Bell said Dougherty was married and the father of two grown children.

Koch Foods did not return calls.


Suspect nabbed in burglary

FACKLER, Ala. — A man who was found carrying stolen property and methamphetamine was charged Wednesday in Jackson County, Ala., according to a news release.

The burglary of a home on County Road 45 in the Fackler community was reported early Wednesday. Later, Jackson County Sheriff's Office investigators found a man in a nearby house who was carrying some stolen property, the release said. The man also had 6.5 grams of ice methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

David Jerrell Steele, 51, of Fackler, was charge with third-degree theft, third-degree burglary and drug possession, the release stated. No bond had been set as of Wednesday evening.


Man dies evading police

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Police say the body of a man who tried running from police has been pulled from the Chattahoochee River in Columbus.

Columbus police Capt. W.D. Turner tells the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus the man ran to the river when police tried arresting him Wednesday morning.

Major Julius Graham tells WTVM-TV that an officer tried pulling the man from the water after he jumped in but the current was too strong.

Lt. Greg Touchberry says the man was wanted on warrants for property crimes. The man's identity hasn't been released.


Firefighters put on river rescue

Chattanooga firefighters on Wednesday rescued five University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students on paddleboards in the Tennessee River.

According to a news release, the firefighters were dispatched around 1 p.m. when a student called 911 on her cellphone. She said the five had become trapped by the swift current and could not maneuver to open water and get back to their vehicle.

The firefighters took their boat to the Casey barge on the North Shore, where three students were in the water and two were on a dock next to the barge. The students hitched a ride on the boat to Coolidge Park.

The release said the fire boat also was deployed on April 23, when several UTC students became stranded on Williams Island after some of their canoes drifted away. They were not injured.

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