Today is Thursday, August 24, 2017

Arrest made in hit-and-run; one remains hospitalized

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By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post

A man with a criminal history including a charge of attempted second-degree murder was arrested yesterday and is now facing vehicular assault charges in a hit-and-run accident Wednesday night that sent two women to the hospital, one of them with serious injuries. 

Carroll Hart Smith Jr., 37, of 314 Hill Street, Lebanon, has been charged with two counts of vehicular assault, one count of DUI and one count of leaving the scene of an accident with injury.

Lebanon Police Officer Steve Green said the accident happened about 8 p.m. as the two women, Suanne Bone and Melanie Long, were walking eastbound on Hill Street when they were struck from behind by a 1995 Chevy Camaro driven by Smith, also headed eastbound. The officer said Smith was traveling at a high rate of speed and crossed the center line of the roadway striking Bone and Long.

Bone is the niece of State Rep. Stratton Bone. Long is the owner of The White Room, a wedding and formal dress shop on South Cumberland Street.

Both women were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Long was reportedly released from the hospital Thursday, suffering a broken nose in the accident.

Bone sustained more serious injuries including a broken shoulder, ribs, pelvis and leg.

One of Bone’s shoes and her jacket were reportedly found by a family member near the back entrance to Hearthside, a retirement home.

Green said Smith left the scene of the accident and then left his car at his home. He said Smith told him he sent a text message shortly after 8 p.m. to his fiancée who was attending a domestic violence meeting.

The officer said the fiancée arrived home after 9 p.m., and Smith told her what had happened. Green said she told him he should turn himself in, but he left the residence on foot.

Word of the incident reached some of Smith’s family members, and Green said Smith’s brother left a message on the voice mail of a Lebanon Police detective telling him that Smith could be found at his home at 314 Hill Street.

Green said he got in touch with him and convinced him to turn himself in at headquarters.

During the interview, which Green said was videotaped, Smith said “he had been drinking all day and smoking marijuana” and was going to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, but decided on the way there he did not want to attend in the condition he was in so he turned around and headed back home.

“He admitted it on video,” Green said. “He gave me a signed confession. I guess the guilty part of it got him.”

Green said Smith was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempted robbery and attempted second-degree murder in an incident that occurred at the West Main Wine and Spirits store in 1993. He was paroled in 2008.

The two vehicular assault charges he faces as a result of the hit-and-run accident on Wednesday night are felony charges, Green added. The charge of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injury are misdemeanors.

Smith, who goes by the name of Chip, was booked into the Wilson County Jail where he remained at press time. Bond was set at $190,000 which includes $60,000 for each vehicular assault charge, $60,000 for the charge of leaving the scene of an accident with injury and $10,000 for the DUI charge.

Smith is the son of the late Carroll Smith, the football coach at Castle Heights Military Academy when it closed in 1986.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

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