Knoxville woman charged in fatal hit-and run

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville woman has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run that happened on Gay Street on Sunday night.

Emily Williams, 23, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident knowing death resulted. Knoxville Police Department said additional charges are pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Tom Burch, 29, was was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.Jennifer Ouellette, 24, was injured. Ouellette was taken taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center where she is listed in serious condition.

Tom Burch (Family)

Mary Burch, Tom Burch’s mother, said her son wanted to show Oullete Gay Street Bridge at night. Knoxville Police Department said Burch and the woman got off their motorcycle and where standing on the side of the road when they were hit by a SUV.

Police responded to the accident around 2:52 a.m. Sunday. Gay Street was closed for around 3 hours after the accident but has reopened. Williams was arrested Sunday evening.

Mary Burch receives hug from family member on Gay Street Bridge while holding a photo of her son.

The family of Tom Burch says they haven’t even begun to think about funeral plans and are still processing what happened. They said they are still grieving the loss of their brother, son and nephew, describing him as compassionate, considerate and personable, with an infectious smile.

“It’s so surreal right now,” said Mary Burch. “I keep thinking they’re gonna come up to me and this be a whole big mistake… a misidentification.”

Family gathered on Gay Street Bridge to leave flowers and leave messages for Tom Burch in chalk. Mary Burch said she doesn’t know how the accident happened, but she does know her son lived a positive life.

“I would give my life for him right now if God could just take mine and bring him back I would do it in a heartbeat,” said Mary Burch.

Tom Burch was Mary Burch’s oldest son. She says he had a younger brother and sister and was protective of his siblings and loved his “big brother” role.

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