Good Samaritan Lends A Helping Hand After Hit And Run

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) One young man is dead and another is in jail following Saturday's hit and run accident on I-140.

Knoxville police say 20-year old Gabriel Cordova de la Rosa rammed his Chevy Blazer into a Kia driven by 32-year old Justin Smith sending it over an embankment.

Police say de la Rosa then drove away from the scene, but a concerned citizen followed and held him until police arrived.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman caught up with that good samaritan this afternoon.

Greg Lundy told me he did what anyone else would have.

He's just a bit more trained to do it than most of us.

"He's truly a good Samaritan, and I thank him."

Greg Lundy says he's no hero even though he tracked down a hit and run driver.

"I guess it's probably a mile and a half down here, and I started seeing this oil trail. And there was a maroon vehicle up against the guard rail. I couldn't see the damage to it till I got out."

And approached the driver.

Lundy says, "I asked him if he'd been in an accident, and he started cursing at me and told me to get away from him."

That's when the private investigator detained Gabriel Cordova De La Rosa.

"He was trying to fight me the whole time and he kept trying to reach into his backpack."

And until police arrived.

Lundy continues, "you know. I didn't want to draw a weapon on him, but I had to at that point, because I didn't know what he had. And I didn't know what he was going to do."

Greg never knew Justin Smith, a young father of one that his family says had turned his life around.

Sharon Underwood is Justin's aunt and says, "Justin had a checkered past. He wasn't always the kid he turned out to be."

Sharon says he was making a difference.

"Was in church working speaking to youth groups and really on the right track."

And he loved his eight-year old daughter Jayden.
"Oh, that was all that he thought about."

In fact, Justin had just left work and was on his way to pick up Jayden when the accident happened and Greg Lundy stopped to help.

Sharon adds, "I'd call him a hero, at least he's a hero in our family."

Justin Smith's family will receive friends tomorrow at Weaver's Funeral Home on Western Avenue from 5:00 till 7:00 with the funeral at 7:00.

Burial will be Wednesday at 11:00 at Ball Camp Cemetery.

Donations to the Justin Smith fund may be made at any Y-12 Federal Credit Union Location.

De la Rosa remains in jail on a $20,000 dollar bond.

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