Police release photo in hit-and-run case

Police have released a surveillance photo of a vehicle possibly used in a hit-and-run accident that critically injured three people and are asking for the public’s help in solving the case.

Detectives want help identifying the driver of a silver or tan four-door Toyota Rav 4 during the Jan. 23 accident on East King Street just east of downtown Franklin. The vehicle is likely a 2002 to 2005 model, according to a Franklin Police Department news release.

One surveillance image shows the front bumper suspended from the vehicle with damage primarily on the driver’s side, Franklin police Detective Adam Joseph said.

Witnesses described the driver as male, possibly in his 20s, with dark hair, police said.

“Someone knows who was driving that vehicle that day,” Joseph said. Police are asking for anyone with information to call the police department tip line or Crime Stoppers.

The vehicle headed westbound on Jefferson Street from the area of Forsythe Street after the accident.

Surveillance cameras at the Franklin Parks and Recreation Center captured video of the vehicle police suspect caused the accident passing by the center on Branigin Boulevard and State Street, near Franklin College, one minute after the accident was reported to 911 dispatchers.

The accident happened when the driver of the SUV was speeding westbound on East King Street and hit a vehicle driven by Grant Black from behind. The impact forced Black into oncoming traffic, where he struck a Cordry-Sweetwater couple head-on.

Black had multiple injuries, including 16 fractured ribs, a broken fibula, a broken sternum and a shattered elbow.

The Cordry-Sweetwater residents, Mitch Wolhmuth and Mary Anne Litwicki, are both still recovering from the accident. Wolhmuth was in a coma for more than a month and had two broken legs, Litwicki said.

Litwicki had a shattered wrist and compound fracture in her ankle and has since had two surgeries, she said.

Anyone with details about the accident, vehicle or driver should call the Franklin Police Department tip line at 317-346-1100 or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477.