By RACHEL C. DOVE
WILLIAMSON - Eye witnesses to a bizarre event that occurred Monday afternoon on 3rd Avenue and Harvey Street in Williamson stated they were shocked at the scene that unfolded before their eyes and couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
“I heard someone yelling for help and looked up and saw a truck rounding the corner from 3rd Avenue onto Harvey Street with a man holding on to the grill and bug deflector,” stated Nathan Lamere, a patron of the Williamson City Gym who had just left the business when he witnesses the incident.
“I saw the driver put the truck in reverse and hit the gas, and then she went forward and back in reverse a second time,” said the witness. “It appeared like she was trying to force the man to let go of her vehicle by making him lose his handhold on the grill and visor.”
Lamere stated that he ran up to the truck and yelled for the driver to stop, and said he feared that the man would lose his grip and be run over by the vehicle.
Off duty Williamson Police Department Lt. Grady Dotson was inside the City Gym at the time the events unfolded and arrived on scene in a matter of minutes, along with Patrolman Darry Paige who was dispatched by Mingo County 911.
According to the incident report filed by Paige, Jubilee Kennedy, 52, of Matewan, was the driver of the 2004 GMC Sierra that Steven Ball, 57, of Lick Creek, was trying to hang onto as they traveled down the street.
The police report stated that allegedly, Ball was attempting to purchase prescription pain pills from Freddie Mounts, the 35 year-old son of Kennedy, who is said to have taken the money from Ball without giving him the drugs he reportedly paid for. Ball told the officer he observed Mounts get into the truck belonging to Kennedy and said he stepped into the street in its path, and pounded his fist on the hood of the vehicle, demanding his money be returned. When he received no response and the truck attempted to drive away, Ball grabbed onto the grill and bug deflector of the vehicle in an attempt to stop it from going forward. His efforts were in vain, and the driver accelerated and traveled down 2nd Avenue and turned onto Harvey Street where she was witnessed shifting her vehicle into reverse several times, barely avoiding a collision with a parked car.
Kennedy, who told police she had no idea of any issues between her son and Ball before he approached her vehicle, and further stated she panicked when the male grabbed hold of her truck and refused to let go, was cited for reckless driving. Ball, who was treated and released at the Williamson Memorial Hospital for injuries he sustained during the incident, received a citation and fine for unlawful riding and obstructing traffic.
Williamson Police Chief C.D. Rockel told the Daily News that this situation remains under investigation by his department and more information may be released at a later date. The Williamson Fire Department and EMT’s with STAT Ambulance also responded to the scene and transported Ball to the hospital.
We never know what we’re going to come upon when we receive a call for help, but this incident was definitely not a typical complaint,” stated Paige. “The male that was hanging onto the truck could have very easily been killed or seriously hurt.”
“Drug activity of any nature can turn volatile in a matter of seconds, and this case is a perfect example of how people act in a foolish and unsafe nature without any regard to their own welfare or that of others.”
“What upset me the most was seeing a child in the truck who witnessed all of this craziness,” stated Lamere, the man who witnessed the event. “You know it had to scare her to death to see all of this happening right in front of her.”
“If people want to do stupid things, they should at least have the decency to not have children with them while they’re doing them.”