Cases of objects thrown from bridges reported across Northeast Tennessee

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) – Five teenagers who are charged with second-degree murder were denied bond in a Michigan courtroom.

They are accused of throwing rocks off of an overpass on Interstate 75, killing a 32-year-old man last week.

The teens also face charges of conspiracy and property destruction.

Cases like this aren’t uncommon in this area.

Dangerous pranks that involve throwing objects off of overpasses happens throughout the Tri-Cities.

Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins says since last January, there have been at least four different incidents.

“It’s extremely dangerous because it’s going to distract that driver even if it doesn’t hit the vehicle,” Hankins said.

One incident happened last July.

“Two boys throwing bottles off a bridge at truck drivers and this occurred on Marvin Road Bridge,” he explained.

Another incident happened in May.

Tennessee Highway Patrol told the Sheriff’s Department that rocks and road signs were being thrown off of four different bridges and overpasses between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.

Last July in Kingsport, News Channel 11’s Karissa Winstead was driving along I-26 near mile marker 8 when a rock came through her windshield.

“I just remember I was singing and the next thing I know I was screaming because I had glass flying everywhere,” she said.

Just last month in Johnson City, Johnny Roberts said he was driving on Interstate 26 near the Gray exit when someone threw a container filled with paint onto his truck.

“If this paint can had been about two feet over to the left, it would have exploded the glass and the paint right in my face. I mean it certainly could have killed me,” Roberts said.

No arrests have been made in any of these cases.

Sheriff Hankins said it’s hard to catch people who do this.

But he said there is one way you can stay vigilant.

“Happen to glance and see if you see someone standing up there and if you do, that’s unusual and that would give you maybe just an extra second or two to react to it.”

He also wants to send a reminder, “this is very serious and it’s not a game to play and please don’t do this. You could get someone killed,” he said.

He said his department will be stepping up patrols on overpasses and bridges in the next week, especially through Halloween.

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