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.
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.