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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Attention To Detail In Fatal Crash Investigation Earns Officer Award
Officers of the Month
Civilians of the Month
October 31, 2005 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today named Motor Officer Ron Trentham as the September 2005 Officer of the Month. Officer Trentham has been with the Knoxville Police Department since November 1994.

Chief Owen said that on September 15, 2005 at approximately 8:10 a.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a motorcycle crash on I-40 west near the Alcoa Highway ramp. Due to the severity of the injuries to the motorcyclist, Fatal Accident Investigator (FAI) Ron Trentham was called to the scene to begin the investigation into what and who caused the hit-and-run crash.

Mayor Haslam, Officer Trentham, Chief OwenOfficer Trentham immediately started gathering evidence from the roadway at the scene before it became tainted or destroyed. The only description of the suspect vehicle came from the second victim of this hit-and-run incident. That description indicated the suspect was driving a gold or light brown colored Ford Taurus. Within a couple of hours of the crash the victim, 56 year-old David Perkins, died of his injuries.

Since no one stopped after witnessing the crash to provide suspect information to the officers, Officer Trentham requested help from the media by broadcasting information about the crash and releasing the vague description of the suspect's vehicle. Within several minutes of the start of the Noon radio and television newscasts, witnesses finally started calling the police department. Officer Trentham spent the remainder of the afternoon interviewing these witnesses.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., Teleserve received a call from a woman who indicated she had struck a guardrail on her way to work and needed a report for her insurance company. Officer Trentham called the woman back and quickly determined that her incident had occurred on I-40 west near Alcoa Highway. After further questioning, Trentham learned that this caller had been driving a gold Ford Taurus. Trentham agreed to meet the caller so that the report could be completed.

After meeting with the caller, Officer Trentham transported the female to the Safety Building to be interviewed. At this point, Trentham was confident that the person he had in custody was the suspect in the hit and run crash.

After conducting the interview with the suspect and discussions with the Knox County Attorney General's Office, charges were placed on the suspect that night. The suspect, Darcus Johnson Ware (DOB 03-08-53), was charged with Reckless Vehicular Homicide and Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving a Fatality.

Chief Owen said, "Officer Trentham's attention to detail throughout this investigation was exceptional. Evidence collected at the scene including paint chips that matched the suspect's vehicle shows Ron's dedication for his job and to the citizens of this community."

Mayor Haslam said, "Officer Trentham is commended for his meticulous investigation. Without fail, Ron stayed focused on his duty to solve this crime. His actions are appreciated by the citizens we serve."

Ron will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and Chief along with a free dinner from Bayou Bay Seafood House.

For Immediate Release
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