WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Less than two hours before a suspected drunk driver crashed his truck and killed a Washington County, Tennessee woman, dispatchers received a call about someone in the same kind of truck driving recklessly near the crash site, according to 911 records
Saturday marked six months since Shirra Branum’s death. Sheriff Ed Graybeal said federal, state and local investigators are pursuing new leads in their search for Alan Mogollon-Anaya, the suspect in the case.
As the victim’s family increases the reward for his capture to $5,000, a 911 call reveals a possible warning prior to the crash.
The March 16 call, received at 4:40 pm, warned of a person driving a white pickup truck on Conklin Road.
“He ran about three people off the road,” the caller said. “He was going about 100 miles per hour.”
While the caller did not get a great look at the driver and cannot say with certainty whether it was Mogollon-Anaya, he told us it was the same kind of truck.
A deputy responded within minutes, but by the time the officer arrived, dispatchers said the truck was parked at a Conklin Road home and the driver was gone. Records show Mogollon-Anaya formerly lived on Conklin Road.
“When he found the truck, he checked the truck, no one was in the truck, no one was around the truck and no one was at the residence,” Sheriff Graybeal said. “He checked.”
Sheriff Graybeal said his deputy handled the be on the lookout (BOLO) call that preceded the crash just like any other reckless driving call, even going a step further and driving to the home in question. However, he said state law prevented his officer from taking any criminal action for the misdemeanor.
“State law’s explicit,” the sheriff said. “For me to write you a ticket or pull you over, we have to observe what you’re doing.”
Dispatchers said 911 receives reckless driving calls frequently, 14 calls alone just Sunday, and in those cases, they say there’s not much law enforcement can do. In a case like this, the sheriff said his deputies would not sit and wait for a driver to leave again.
The deputy cleared the call at 4:50 pm, according to 911. Roughly an-hour-and-a-half later, a white pickup truck crashed on Conklin Road, killing Branum.
Her father says the last six months have felt like an eternity.
“It seems like a lifetime,” Hugh Scalf said sobbing. “It’s just hard to talk about it.”
Scalf said when you consider the fact his daughter’s suspected killer is still on the run, it’s impossible for him to even try and move forward.
“If I wake up at three o’clock in the morning, that’s all I think about,” he said. “Where’s he at? My daughter’s gone.”
He says the possible warning before the crash is now just one more thing to consider.
“Yes, it bothers me,” Scalf said. “They was warned that there was a guy out here running up and down the road.”
The sheriff said his investigators remain committed to finding the man who killed Branum
“We’re hoping that it will end in a good result for the family and closure for them,” Sheriff Graybeal said.
Now living in a world of “what ifs,” her family said they desperately need that closure.
“I’ve got to try to face reality that she is gone and I know that,” her father said.
Branum’s family is planning a march later this month. The Justice for Shirra March is scheduled for September 30 at 2 pm outside the Washington County Justice Center.
Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.