State senator cited for leaving accident scene

State senator cited for leaving accident scene (Image 1)

A Tennessee state senator was not at his seat during a session Thursday because he was in a Dickson City courtroom fighting a citation he received for leaving the scene of an accident.

According to the police report obtained by News 2, Republican Sen. James Summerville backed into a parked car on the morning of February 3 at a BP station on Highway 70 near Montgomery Bell State Park and then left.

Police reports say the driver of the other car followed Sen. Summerville while on the phone with police.

Park rangers at Montgomery Bell State Park spotted Summerville and pulled him over.  The report says the lawmaker told them he didn't realize he had been involved in a crash.

The report states Sen. Summerville “noticed a vehicle behind him flashing [its] lights and sounding [its] horn” but “thought it was just someone trying to run him off the roadway” so he sped up.

Summerville was then issued the citation for leaving the scene of an accident.

When contacted by News 2 late Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the State Senate Republicans said she was unaware of the citation and incident involving the lawmaker until it she learned about from News 2.

She indicated that Summerville had an excused absence for the day.

News 2 spoke with Sen. Summerville Thursday night who said “the case has no merit.”

After Summerville appeared in court Thursday morning, an appearance was reset for May 1.

Sen. Summerville was elected to the State Senate in 2010.  He is facing a former state senator and current House member in the upcoming Republican Primary.

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