COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — A trooper discovered three young children locked in the back of a U-Haul truck in Tennessee.
A bystander told THP Fall Branch on July 10 they observed several small children being locked in the back of a white U-Haul box truck at the I-40 446 Welcome Center in Cocke County. While a trooper was driving in that direction, they noticed a U-Haul truck pass on the westbound side of I-40. The trooper stopped the U-Haul and asked if anyone was in the back of the box truck.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the driver, identified as 36-year-old Eric Larue, admitted that people were in the back of the truck. The trooper then rescued three small children, ages one, five and eight years old, from the back of the truck. The outside temperature was 92 degrees, authorities reported.
The Department of Children’s Services was notified about the situation and opened an investigation. More troopers were also called to the scene. They reported a strong odor of drugs coming from the front of the truck and later found crystal meth, cocaine, drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
Three people from Hendersonville, N.C. face charges connected to the incident.