KPD Officer Micah Bohon remembers 1/17/23

Tom KingOur Town Heroes

January 17, 2023, will forever be part of Micah Win Bohon’s life. It was a “gut wrenching” experience, the toughest call she’s had in four years as a Knoxville Police Department (KPD) patrol officer. The fallout for her?

“I took some time off from work to get over it, a few days, to walk through it all, just to heal and learn from it.”

Micah Bohon

On that January afternoon, around 3:15, two drivers decided to drag race their Dodge Chargers on one of Knoxville’s busiest streets – Magnolia Avenue. Their speeds were estimated to have reached 126 mph. Predictably, tragedy followed. A New Market grandfather was killed and his two young grandchildren critically injured when one of the drivers ran a redlight at Magnolia and Milligan Street.

Bohon, 28, and partner Gordon Johnson were the first KPD officers to respond. One person described that scene: “… It looked like a plane had crashed. An entire block of Magnolia was covered with debris and smoke from the cars.”

The grandfather, Michael Williams, 65, the father of the children’s mother, died at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. His granddaughter, Hadley, 6, according to her mother, Nikki Tucker, suffered a traumatic brain injury, her jaw was broken in four places, she had two neck fractures and her anterior ligament was torn, along with a broken rib, severe spleen and lung damage, a broken arm in two places and a cracked pelvis. She also was placed on a ventilator until she could breathe on her own. Officer Johnson began working to help Hadley along with other first responders.

Older brother Gage, 11, sustained a shattered pelvis, a hip was snapped at the joint and his lungs and bladder were damaged. When Bohon approached the car, she began giving aid to Gage in the back of the SUV. “I knew he was badly injured and he was trapped between the rear seat and the rear door. I did all I could and then helped hold him up so we could extract him and get him to the hospital.”

The two drag racers charged are Tra’Shawn Glass, 22, and Trinity Clark, 21. Both have been indicted by a Knox County Grand Jury on charges ranging from vehicular homicide to drag racing and aggravated assault. Additionally, Glass was charged with driving without a license and Clark was charged with driving with a revoked license.

Officer Bohon and Nikki Tucker stay in touch about how the kids are doing and Tucker also sends pictures to Bohon. And how are Gage and Hadley doing now, almost 15 months after this accident? “I hear the children are doing great!” Bohon said.

Officer Bohon’s name may be familiar. For four years (2014-18) she was an NCAA All-American and All SEC at UT. Her specialty was the 200-backstroke and the relay events. She’s a native of Summerville, S.C., near Charleston. Swimming excellence ran in the family. Her two brothers also had swimming scholarships.

She graduated from UT in 2018 with a degree in criminal justice with a concentration in criminology and a minor is psychology.

Her interest in law enforcement began in high school. Her best friend’s father supervised the Summerville Police K-9 unit and she spent time with the unit. That stayed with her.

After graduation, she landed a legal assistant’s job with Knoxville attorney Don Bosch. That two-year job, she said, drew her closer to a law enforcement career.

In 2019, she applied and was hired by KPD. She began KPD’s Police Academy in September 2019, graduated in February 2020 and was assigned as a patrol officer in the East District. That is still her beat.

“It became a dream of mine. The teamwork and camaraderie are very much like being on a swim team,” she explained. “But the skills are very different.”

She has no plans to return to her native South Carolina. “When I came here on a recruiting visit in high school I fell in love with Knoxville and the mountains and the great food. I’ve made this my home and built a family here. I knew the job would be both tough and rewarding and it is. But I’m not going anywhere.”

But she will be going somewhere on May 2, 2024 – to Lebanon, Tennessee, to the 15th annual Tennessee Star of Life Awards dinner and banquet. The awards, sponsored by the Children’s Emergency Care Alliance, celebrate and honor the hard work of first responders across the state. That evening Bohon and Johnson will be presented Tennessee Star of Life Awards for their actions and heroism at this horrible accident.

Talking with her after just four years on the job makes one think about her future. The word that comes to mind is “bright.”

“Law enforcement work has a bigger purpose and bigger meaning to me than other careers. And yes, this is my career. I do have career goals. I enjoy fixing things and I like to be in control,” she said.

Tom King has been the editor of newspapers in Texas and California and also worked in Tennessee and Georgia. If you have someone you think we should consider featuring, please email him at the link with his name or text him at 865-659-3562.


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