Man accused of stealing truck, doing $35,000 in rail damage

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Billy Fritts/Knox County Sheriff's Department

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Saturday, October 3, 2020, Knox County Deputy Sam Mullins received a report of a hit and run traffic crash at a railroad crossing on Highway 11 in Cannon. When Deputy Mullins arrived at the location, he observed that the crossing control box was completely destroyed.

Vehicle body parts recovered at the scene lead to the approximate year and make of the hit and run vehicle. Through his investigation, Deputy Mullins identified the vehicle, a 1997 Chevy S-10 pick-up, that was later reported as stolen.

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During the continuing investigation by deputies, a suspect was identified.

Sgt. Carl Frith arrested 35-year-old Billy W. Fritts, of Barbourville, charging him with Criminal Mischief-1st Degree, Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition-Auto, Theft by Deception-under $500, and Leaving Scene of Accident-Failure to Render Aid or Assistance.

CSX Railroad Detective B. J. Brock assisted in the investigation and arrest.

The cost to replace the CSX Crossing Control House and its electrical contents is approximately $35,000.