MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — The driver accused of causing a “five-car chain reaction crash” in late October that left three people injured has been taken into custody, according to Murfreesboro authorities.
The Murfreesboro Police Department said the preliminary investigation indicated a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck was traveling in the eastbound left lane of East Northfield Boulevard around 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 28, but as it approached the traffic light at Lascassas Pike and North Rutherford Boulevard, it slammed into the back of a car, causing a “chain reaction pileup” where one of the cars burst into flames.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and rescued the 24-year-old driver trapped inside the burning vehicle, who was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with severe injuries, officials said. As of Oct. 29, that man was listed in critical condition.
According to authorities, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services personnel took a second driver to Vanderbilt, but that individual was in stable condition by the following day. Meanwhile, a third driver was brought to Ascension St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
On Thursday, Nov. 16, police announced 45-year-old Charles Smith had been arrested on an active warrant by members of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. Smith is currently charged with aggravated assault by recklessness, reckless endangerment, driving without a license, no proof of insurance, and simple possession.
Based on the investigation, Smith was driving at a high rate of speed before the crash, officials said.
Smith is reportedly being held at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center on a $102,500 bond. He has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 1 in the Rutherford County General Sessions Court.