Jealous ex arrested in Kingsport road rage wreck

Rain Smith • Aug 27, 2019 at 1:40 PM

KINGSPORT — A city resident who spotted his former girlfriend with another man has been arrested after allegedly ramming their car up to 10 times along Stone Drive, eventually disabling both vehicles.

Michael C. Helton, 28, of Lemay Drive, is charged with felony reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. According to records at the Kingsport Police Department, the incident began at about 10:40 Sunday night. 

That's when dispatchers began receiving calls about multiple “road rage” collisions along East Stone Drive; specifically, a GM Sierra trying to run a Nissan Altima off the highway. Police soon found the car stopped with extensive damage at the John B. Dennis Highway. The truck was located with its airbags deployed at the nearby Lowe's.

Questioning by police revealed that the passenger of the Altima was Helton's ex-girlfriend. When he spotted the woman being driven by a man on eastbound Stone Drive, he allegedly pulled his truck beside their car and began "swerving into them multiple times." Speeds during the pursuit reportedly hit approximately 100 mph.

At the Kingsport Pavilion, the driver of the Altima performed a U-turn to try and elude Helton. But Helton allegedly drove through the median to continue giving chase, then delivered a final blow to the rear of the car. Both vehicles then slowed to where they were located by police.

Independent witnesses reportedly corroborated the victims' account of being struck by Helton's truck. Helton's former girlfriend claimed that he had threatened to kill her in the past and is known to carry a firearm. A loaded handgun was found in his possession and seized.

Police also spoke to an acquaintance of Helton. During the pursuit, Helton allegedly called that man's phone and threatened to "shoot or kill" the driver of his ex-girlfriend's car.

As the case is investigated further, video will be reviewed from Stone Drive businesses and traffic cameras. Additional charges are pending.