KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Knox County Sheriff's deputies have charged the driver of a rental truck and the parents of two children after seven people were found locked in the back of the vehicle.
Deputies said the adults claimed to be related and said they were moving from Steubenville to Fort Myers, Fla.
The U-Haul's driver, Rocky Ewing, 25, was arrested on seven counts of reckless endangerment, according to officials.
The children's parents were identified as Joshua Jackson, 44, and Mary Jackson, 42, and the parents were arrested on two counts each of child endangerment.
According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, deputies stopped the truck on Interstate 40 Thursday afternoon after being told two children were beaten in a Walmart parking lot and thrown into the cargo bay of a truck.
The officers found two children and five adults locked in the back of the vehicle, filled with furniture and lacking ventilation. In the front were the driver and two other men. The children's parents were in another vehicle.
The children were released into the custody of their grandmother, who also was locked in the back of the truck
"The truck was towed because, out of all the people who weren't arrested, only the grandmother had a valid driver's license," said sheriff's spokeswoman Martha Dooley. "And she didn't want to drive the truck."