ROAN MOUNTAIN — The investigation into the death of Boones Creek resident Brady Hughes, 57, on Friday following a shooting and a crash is continuing but the Carter County Sheriff’s Department still has no clear answers in the baffling case.
Sheriff Chris Mathes said he is awaiting the results of the autopsy and the ballistics test.
“We met with members of Hughes’ family at the scene of the crash Monday,” Mathes said. While the family provided helpful information, Mathes said the ballistics test is a key factor.
Mathes said a small-caliber pistol was found inside the Honda CRV that Hughes was driving at the time. He said one shot had been fired from the gun. The ballistics test will reveal whether the bullet that entered Hughes’ torso came from that gun.
Chief Deputy Ron Street said the investigation traced the routes from the Burbank area to the crash scene at the entrance to Roan Mountain State Park. He said the likely route taken would have Hughes go right by Jack’s Grocery. If he had been shot at the time, the chief wondered why he would not have stopped at the store for help.
At the time rescuers arrived, they found Hughes was fastened in his seat belt.
The investigation began as an accident with injury investigation conducted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. There was no indication at the scene that Hughes had been shot. He was alive at the time Friday afternoon and Mathes said there was no blood at the scene. Trooper Doug Brewer followed the Carter County Rescue Squad ambulance when Hughes was being taken to Sycamore Shoals Hospital.
Brewer told county deputies that upon reaching the hospital, medical staff began removing Hughes’ clothing. Brewer then discovered a puncture wound that was consistent with a gunshot wound. Sheriff’s Department investigators were immediately notified.
Hughes was pronounced dead at Sycamore Shoals just prior to the arrival of deputies. Upon arrival, the deputies, Lt. Patrick Johnson and Deputy Matt Ainsworth, confirmed the puncture wound did appear consistent with the type of wound one would receive from a gunshot.