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Victim relieved by arrest of man in Smokies hit-and-run

After seven months on the run, the man accused in a July hit-and-run in the Smokies has been arrested and booked in the Blount County Jail. 

Brenlynn Maples, 14, put up the fight of her life when she suffered serious injuries after being struck in a hit and run in July.

It happened when she was traveling through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, leaving her with a concussion, two broken femurs, a broken thumb, tibia and fibula.

"It's a traumatic injury," Brenlynn Maples said. "You're always going to have that. You're always going to be remembered as the girl who was hit in the mountains, but it's not about what happened. It's about what you endure and how you control it. You have to be a trooper. You just have to fight."

She spent nearly a month in the hospital, not knowing if she would recover. But recover she did, fueled by the love and support of her family and a strength she never knew she had.

"I didn't know I was that strong," she said. "I didn't know I could be hit by a motorcycle and be told I was going to be in a wheelchair for 18 months and then seven months later, I'm up jumping, running, walking and hiking up stairs every day."

The man investigators think is responsible is now behind bars. 

"He deserves to suffer the consequences of making a mistake that didn't need to happen," Brenlynn Maples said. 

Timothy Lee King has been booked in the Blount County Jail on multiple federal charges related to the case.

"It was almost like instant tears," Tanika Maples, Brenlynn's mother, said. "Not tears of sadness but like I can breathe again, because it's been horrible. It's like a weight has been lifted."

It was a breakthrough Tanika Maples was waiting months to hear, and now she said she is hoping King will pay the price for what he did to her daughter.

"It wasn't the fact that this man hit and injured my kid. Accidents happen every day," Tanika Maples said. "You just don't leave her there to die. Where's your heart? Where's your morals? She's going to suffer the rest of her life, I feel like he should suffer the rest of his, too."

Brenlynn is ready to turn the page to the next chapter of her life, crediting her experience for making her tougher and more resilient. 

"There's always a light at the end of the tunnel," Brenlynn Maples said. "You just have to stay strong. You have to keep your shoulders up. You can't let them sag. You have to be positive more than anything. You have to say to yourself, 'hey, I'm going to make this through. I'm going to go home. I'm not going to end up in the morgue. You don't give up. You have to stay positive for the people around you."

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