A hitchhiker, who was picked up by an unidentified motorist early this morning at the East Morristown Walmart, sustained serious injuries when he was reportedly tossed from the moving vehicle seven miles north on Interstate 81, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The jettisoned hitchhiker, 37-year-old Etowah resident Ronald Longoria, had road rash on his right arm, and complained that he could not feel his lower extremities, according to Trooper Zandra Rimer, who encountered Longoria lying in a ditch near Exit 15 around 3:30 a.m.
Longoria was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. He was being treated in the emergency room at press time.
Longoria didn’t get the name of the driver, and the details he provided about the man were very sketchy. He was driving a dark-colored, four-door sedan. The man represented he would take Longoria to Kingsport, according to Rimer.
The physical pain that Longoria is suffering will be followed by legal discomfort.
“A check through NCIC revealed Mr. Longoria was wanted out of Florida for aggravated burglary and theft,” Rimer’s preliminary incident report states. “Florida advised they would fully extradite Longoria pending his release from the hospital. UT Medical was contacted by dispatch and advised to contact us prior to releasing Longoria.”
Longoria has a prior felony conviction in Tennessee. The sentence was flat in March 2017, according to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.