Troopers rescue children locked in U-Haul truck; 3 adults charged
COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. — Three children were rescued from the back of a locked U-Haul truck on Interstate 40 in East Tennessee last week by troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
According to a news release from THP, a Fall Branch trooper received a call July 10 about several small children locked in the back of the box truck on I-40 at the Welcome Center in Cocke County.
The release says the trooper saw the truck and stopped it in the westbound lanes of the interstate.
The driver, 36-year-old Eric Larue, admitted that there were people in the back of the truck, the release says.
THP says the trooper found three children, ages 1, 5 and 8, in the back of the truck and the Department of Children’s Services was notified.
The outside temperature was 92 degrees, according to the release.
Troopers also found narcotics in the cab of the U-Haul truck after a passenger gave troopers a small amount of marijuana. The release says troopers later found cocaine, crystal meth and drug paraphernalia, in addition to the marijuana the passenger possessed.
Larue was charged with three counts of child endangerment, no license, lane law violation, seat belt violation, child restraint violation and no proof of registration.
Lakiza Williams, 40, was charged with three counts of child endangerment, two counts of possession of schedule II narcotics, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Willie Green Jr., 40, was also charged with three counts of child endangerment and possession of schedule VI narcotics.
All three are from Hendersonville, North Carolina. They were taken to the Cocke County jail.