Saturday, February 10, 2018

12-Year-Old Killed In Lawrence County Off Road Accident; Charges Filed



SUMMERTOWN, TN- Lawrence County officials say a 12-year-old died this morning after being involved in an off road accident on Friday night.

Lawrence County EMS was dispatched to "Wheelin' in the Country", 128 Anderson Creek Road, Summertown, on Friday night at approximately 11:30 p.m.

When crews arrived they found a 12-year-old female from Kelso, trapped under an off-road vehicle. The female was taken to Southern Tennessee Regional Hospital and then airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

According to Lawrence County Sherriff Jimmy Brown the 12-year-old girl passed away from her injuries this morning at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Sheriff Brown said that three people were in the off-road vehicle when it apparently rolled over. He identified the driver as Thomas Ruggeri, Fayetteville. Brown said that Ruggeri's daughter was treated and released from a local hospital but a friend of the family suffered serious injuries and sadly later died from those injuries.

The victim of the tragic accident has been identified as Arkia Faith Long, 12, Kelso, Tennesse.

The owner of Whellin' In The Country said the off-road vehicle "lightly rolled and the female was ejected through the passenger's side window"

The Sheriff told WOPC HD News that they had made an arrest in connection with the accident.

Thomas Edward Ruggeri, Fayetteville, had been charged with Vehicular Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Operating a Vehicle Under The Influence.  He is currently being held without bond at the Lawrence County Jail. 

Officials say they expect the charges to be upgraded due to the death of Long.

"The occupants were unrestrained in the vehicle and the young female was ejected" Brown said. 

The off-road vehicle has been impounded by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the 22nd Judicial District Attorney's office will be assisting in the investigation.

A Go Fund Me Account has been set up to assist the family: https://www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-arika-long

Stay with WOPC HD News for updates