A traffic stop for a faulty license plate light was the cause of a chase and fatal collision with an uninvolved Tullahoma man early Thursday.
Joe Moon, a retired employee of Tullahoma's Parks and Recreation Department, was killed in the crash that happened just after midnight at the intersection of South Jackson and Carroll streets, authorities said.
"[T]he reason that the driver was being stopped by a deputy was a busted license plate light and the passenger acted suspicious by trying to hide from view of the deputy," Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves said in a statement Friday.
He also said the fleeing driver, Kayla Brooke Hickey, "attempted to hit a deputy head-on at the [Hillsboro Boulevard-McArthur Street] intersection in Manchester."
Hickey, 21, of McMinnville, is charged with vehicular homicide; schedule I, II and VI drug violations; manufacturing, delivering, selling or possession of a controlled substance; driving on a revoked or suspended license; evading arrest; reckless endangerment; aggravated assault; unlawful drug paraphernalia, and unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon. She is being held at the Coffee County Jail on $229,000 bond.
Hickey's passenger, 22-year-old Charleston Dakota Ortega of Rock Island, Tenn., is charged with firearm use in association with dangerous felonies; tampering with, destroying or fabricating evidence; three counts of schedule II and schedule IV drug violations; unlawful drug paraphernalia; manufacturing, delivering, selling or possession of a controlled substance, and vehicular homicide. He is held on $240,500 bond.
Both are scheduled to appear in court July 25.
Tullahoma police spokesman Winston Brooks said in a statement that deputies began chasing two people in a car in Manchester. The speeding getaway car crashed into the driver's side of Moon's pickup truck and he died at the scene.
Moon worked for the city for 40 years before retiring in 2015. Mayor Lane Curlee on Thursday described Moon as a "one-of-a-kind" person and "an institution in Tullahoma."