KPD e-News Release: Pedestrian Killed by Vehicle in Hit-and-Run Collision

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Pedestrian Killed by Vehicle in Hit-and-Run Collision
DATE: June 24, 2014
On June 23, 2014 just prior to 8:00 PM, a pedestrian, Michael K. Locke, 61 years of age, of Kingsport, was killed in a hit-and-run motor vehicle collision. Mr. Locke was standing on the shoulder of a Fort Henry Drive bridge just north of Sonic Drive-In, located at 3845 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport. A northbound 2003 GMC Yukon XL driven by James D. Hamm, Jr. veered from the traffic lane onto the shoulder, striking Mr. Locke with the right side of the vehicle, knocking him off of the bridge into a ravine approximately twenty feet below. Mr. Locke and another man were in the process of hanging a campaign sign on the roadside when the incident occurred.

Mr. Hamm fled the scene, continuing to drive north on Fort Henry Drive, then turning north on John B. Dennis Highway. He took the next exit to Memorial Boulevard but mysteriously stopped on the shoulder of the exit ramp. Sensing something was amiss, an alert passing motorist stopped and took possession of the vehicle’s keys until Kingsport Police Patrol Officers arrived and took Mr. Hamm into custody. Mr. Hamm exhibited multiple indicators typically consistent with someone under the influence of an intoxicant. He was charged with Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication, Driving Under the Influence, Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision Involving a Fatality, and Failure to Maintain Proper Control of a Vehicle. He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail where he remained confined pending arraignment.

Investigators from the K.P.D. Traffic Unit and Criminal Investigations Division responded. Further inquiry revealed that moments before the fatal collision, Mr. Hamm had stopped at Colonial Heights Package Store, located at 4311 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport. After making a purchase, Mr. Hamm returned to his vehicle which he had left parked facing the store. Rather than back from his parking space, he drove forward over the curb, across a sidewalk, and into the exterior wall of the business. There was no damage to the building; however, a pedestal ash tray was crushed when it was sandwiched between the vehicle and the building. Mr. Hamm then fled the parking lot northbound on Fort Henry Drive, driving directly to the scene where the fatality would occur approximately one mile away.

This is still an open and active investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident at Colonial Heights Package Store, the fatal collision, the location where Mr. Hamm eventually stopped, or any of his driving in between any of these key points is asked to contact the K.P.D. Traffic Unit as soon as possible at 423-224-2750.

Name Michael K. Locke
Age 61 Years of Age
Race/Gender White/Male
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Fatal
Make GMC
Model Yukon XL
Year 2003
Type Full-Size Sport Utility Vehicle
Color White
Damage Minor


Name James D. Hamm, Jr.
Age Date of Birth 10/16/1969

44 Years of Age

Race/Gender White/Male
Residency 304 Millington Court

Kingsport, TN

Injuries No Injury
Charge(s) 1) Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication

2) Driving Under the Influence

3) Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision Involving a Fatality

4) Failure to Maintain Proper Control of a Vehicle

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit