A 34-year-old Clinton man was arrested Thursday morning after he allegedly drove his car through the main security portal at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, crashed his vehicle, and fled into the woods.
Timothy D. Preston was charged with aggravated trespassing, trespassing by motor vehicle, felony vandalism and driving while license revoked (third offense), according to information released by the Oak Ridge Police Department.
The incident began shortly before 6 a.m., and Preston was taken into custody around 7:40 a.m.
“After the crash, Mr. Preston fled on foot into a heavily wooded area inside the facility,” the police statement said. “Multiple Y-12 security and Oak Ridge police officers immediately responded and established containment inside and outside the perimeter of the facility.”
The national security plant was placed on shutdown throughout the morning. Y-12 workers already inside the plant were told to remain in place, and other employees were turned away at the entrance or told — via email — to remain at home until further notification.
Oak Ridge police said Preston was taken to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge for treatment of minor injuries. He was then taken to the police station to be interviewed and later transported to the Anderson County Detention Center.
“Based on statements made by Timothy Preston and further investigation, additional charges may be pending,” the police news release stated. The investigation is continuing, police said.
Steven Wyatt, a federal spokesman at Y-12, said there was no risk to the plant’s nuclear operations as a result of the incident.
A feature on Atomic City Underground allows readers to sign up for email updates and receive a notice each time new information is posted on the news blog. Just put your email address in the box on the lower right of the blog’s front page and follow instructions. Thanks to all loyal readers.