A Hamblen County man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was ejected from his SUV in a rollover crash on Alpha Valley Home Road Wednesday evening, according to authorities.
Charles Adam Dugger’s northbound 2004 Mercury Mountaineer rolled “many times” after the vehicle left the left side of the roadway and struck an embankment, near the intersection with Nelson School Road, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol preliminary crash report.
Dugger, 33, was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and this morning remained in a trauma intensive care unit. As the medical helicopter approached the crash scene, a paramedic told a flight medic that Dugger had an obvious and profound injury to his larynx.
Additional details about the Dugger’s condition come from an unusual source, a federal judge’s order filed Thursday in the case of Dugger’s father, Charles Dennis Kitts.
“(Kitts’) son is not responding to pain stimuli and recent scans are showing no brain activity,” U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Richardson Wyrick wrote in an order granting Kitts a one-week furlough. “(Dugger) is currently on a ventilator and the doctors have advised the family that the next 48 hours are critical and they need to start considering decisions related to removal of the ventilator.”
The magistrate released Kitts, 56, into the custody and 24-hour-a-day supervision of his sister “to be with the family as these decisions are being made and to be able to say goodbye if there is no improvement.”
Wyrick ordered Kitts to avoid all contact with Dugger’s mother, Wanda Wright, unless it relates directly their son’s medical attention. Kitts, who served time in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, was arrested on Dec. 12 for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill Wright, according to arrest petitions.
His revocation hearing is schedule for March 16. If a judge concludes he’s sufficiently violated the terms of his restricted release, Kitts faces between eight months and five years behind bars.