Saturday, December 16th, 2006
Teen apprehended in connection with hit skip accident at cemetery
Tombstones knocked down in graveyard near Chattanooga
By Margie Wuebker
Anonymous tips have led to the apprehension of a Willshire-area teenager responsible for a hit-skip accident that damaged four tombstones at Duckcreek Cemetery. The mishap occurred at 3:30 a.m. Dec. 2.
Jacob S. Caffee, 17, 10780 state Route 49, faces charges of failure to stop after an accident and failure to control filed by the Mercer County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded to the cemetery near Chattanooga around 2 p.m. Dec. 2 after receiving damage reports.
A southbound vehicle apparently traveled off state Route 49 and struck an iron fence before continuing into the cemetery and striking four tombstones. It came to rest after smashing into a tree with suspected heavy front-end damage.
Debris found at the scene identifed the vehicle as a teal green Ford Ranger that was subsequently towed from the scene. A deputy followed black marks along state Route 49, west on Rockford West Road, north on Stetler Road and then west on Frank Road. The marks became indistinguishable after the apparent route headed along a gravel road just over the Ohio-Indiana line.
A request for information printed in the newspaper drew some responses, including anonymous tips. The information led to the Caffee home, where the youth admitted falling asleep just before the accident.
"We were able to close the accident case thanks to the information," Lt. Martin Emerine said. "Now we have another hit-skip accident at the same location."
An unknown vehicle apparently lost control and ran off the highway taking down a 50-foot section of iron fence at the cemetery. It is believed the accident occurred sometime over the weekend with deputies learning of the damage Monday afternoon.
Anyone who spotted suspicious activity there is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 419-586-7724.