A single-vehicle crash on Michigan Avenue Road claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy who had reportedly been identified as a runaway and had taken his grandmother’s car without her permission.
The crash reportedly occurred just after 11 a.m. Monday.
Eric T. Johnson was identified as the driver who lost control of the 2013 Honda Fit while traveling south on Michigan Avenue Road near the intersection of Stuart Road, according to Nathan Aly, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper.
According to 911 reports, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the area of Chatata Valley Road after Johnson’s family told authorities he had been spotted driving the car. Family members reportedly followed the vehicle and BCSO deputies made contact just minutes later.
Cleveland Police Department officers staged near North Lee Highway but Johnson reportedly headed south on Dry Valley toward Michigan Avenue Road, according to 911 reports.
Aly noted the vehicle crossed over the centerline of the roadway, striking a ditch and then a utility pole.
Johnson was wearing a seat belt, reports said.
Aly noted in his report authorities are investigating drug use as a possible factor and further testing was requested.
According to 911 reports, the vehicle was recovered and its listing removed from the National Crime Information Center computer database.
Cleveland Utilities worked to repair and restore utilities to area consumers after the vehicle struck the utility pole.
THP’s Critical Incident Response Team is aiding in the crash investigation.
Officials cleared the scene just before 3 p.m. Monday.
Assisting at the scene were Bradley County Emergency Medical Service, Cleveland Fire Department, CPD, BCSO and the Bradley County Medical Examiner’s Office.