MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — A tow truck operator gives his experience of events after a vehicle crashed into a Morristown home and killed a sleeping 18-month-old on Saturday night.
An 18-month-old toddler was killed while asleep Saturday, Aug. 20 after a car crashed into a home on Louise Avenue in Morristown. The driver left the scene — leaving the child dead and a community searching for answers.
Days after the crash, the house remains covered in police tape. People who walk, run or drive by can see a child’s bed and mattress as well as clothes and furniture. No matter how disturbing the scene is today, a man says it’s nothing like the one he saw just moments after the crash happened.
“Neighbors and family members, they were crying and upset,” said tow truck operator Ray Proctor, who was called to pull the suspect’s car from the house. “The car was right beside a beam that the rescue squad had put up to keep the roof from collapsing. Only thing I did was snatch the car over a little bit and then pull the rest of the car onto the bed.”
By the time Proctor arrived, the toddler had been removed from the wreckage. When the car was moved, shredded walls, glass, broken furniture and a child’s bed remained.
“This should have never even happened in the first place. The baby’s life was never even started,” Proctor said.
The Morristown community is on high alert as it searches for whoever is responsible for this tragedy.
Walter Noe Mendez has been named a person of interest in this case. Officers are urging anyone with information about Mendez to contact law enforcement immediately.
“Turn yourself in,” Proctor said. “If you’re innocent, you need to talk to the police department immediately. If you’re running from the police, just stop and turn yourself in. It’s very important.”
According to Proctor, the suspect’s car will undergo forensic evaluation. WATE has not learned about any fundraisers or GoFundMe accounts for the toddler’s family.
Editor’s Note: This story will be updated if information about fundraisers of GoFundMe accounts become available.