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Road rage charges dismissed after man pleads guilty to DUI

John Thompson • Sep 23, 2019 at 11:03 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A Carter County man who had been charged with reckless endangerment and following too closely last week in an apparent road rage incident saw those charges dismissed after he pleaded guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence.

Michael Lynn Richardson, 35, entered the guilty plea during his Monday morning arraignment in Sessions Court. In addition to the guilty plea on driving under the influence, second offense, Richardson also pleaded guilty on counts of implied consent violation and no proof of insurance.

A total of three of the six charges filed against Richardson were dismissed: reckless endangerment, following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident with injury.

According to a preliminary report of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Richardson had been northbound on the Stoney Creek Highway at 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, when he “engaged in an unprovoked road rage.” The Highway Patrol reported that he was driving northbound in a 1995 Ford F-150 and rammed the rear of a northbound Ford Focus driven by a woman.

The woman pulled into a convenience store to seek safety and Richardson continued northbound but failed to stay in his lane, went off the right side of the highway and struck trees. The pickup truck overturned, rolled and came to rest upside down in the 1700 block of the highway. The truck then caught fire and was soon engulfed in flames.

Richardson was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. The driver of the Ford Focus was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital.

Following his guilty pleas on Monday, Sessions Court Judge Keith Bowers Jr. sentenced Richardson to 45 days in jail on the DUI charge, with credit for time served. Bowers also fined Richardson $600 and court costs. On the guilty pleas on the implied consent and driving without insurance, Bowers fined Richardson $25 and court costs on each of the two convictions.

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