Three injured in Thursday car crash

Oak Ridge Turnpike and Rutgers Avenue Accident

Three people were injured when two vehicles crashed Thursday night at Oak Ridge Turnpike and Rutgers Avenue. (Photo by Tom Scott)

Three people were injured in a two-vehicle accident at Oak Ridge Turnpike and Rutgers Avenue on Thursday night, authorities said.

The first vehicle, a 2000 Ford Taurus, was driven by Joseph Elliott Scales, an 18-year-old Oak Ridge resident. Scales said he was trying to turn left onto westbound Oak Ridge Turnpike from the northbound lanes of South Rutgers Avenue and had a green arrow during the 7:50 p.m. crash, an Oak Ridge Police Department report said.

But the driver of the second vehicle, Christine Marie Blackburn, a 44-year-old Johnson City resident, and her passenger, David Wayne Soileau, a 44-year-old Oak Ridge resident, said Scales turned in front of them as they headed south on Rutgers Avenue across Oak Ridge Turnpike in a 1995 Jeep Cherokee.

The ORPD report said there is no left turn arrow for vehicles turning left from South Rutgers Avenue to westbound Oak Ridge Turnpike.

The report said the occupants of all three vehicles were using shoulder and lap belts, but all three had possible injuries and were taken by ambulance to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge.

Scales was cited for a failure to yield.


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  • Angi Agle

    There probably NEEDS to be a left-turn arrow at that intersection, as it can be difficult to catch a break there.

    • Carol Donath

      I’ve been told that it used to have one. I agree it’s hard to make a left there and I have had to wait several light changes and to make it like the one down by the Unitarian church with dedicated left turn lanes on both sides.

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