An Oak Ridge woman has been charged with three traffic violations in the fatal car-motorcycle crash on North Illinois Avenue near the Kroger shopping center on January 31.
Rufus E. Shephard III, 44, of Oak Ridge, died in the crash.
Noelle L. Patty, 29, is accused of failing to obey a traffic control device before the crash, according to arrest warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge. That traffic control device is on an access road that connects the Kroger shopping center to North Illinois Avenue. It indicates a right turn only, but Patty turned left, headed south, from the shopping center access road onto Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Chris Luethge said in the warrants.
That left turn put the Cadillac STS that Patty was driving into the path of northbound traffic on North Illinois Avenue, where a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle driven north by Shephard collided with the Cadillac driven by Patty, Luethge said.
Shepard was launched into the Cadillac and then over it onto the asphalt, where he died, the warrants said.
The crash was reported at the western entrance to the Westcott Center, the Kroger shopping center, at about 5:40 p.m. Sunday, January 31. No one else was in the vehicle with Patty at the time of the crash, Luethge said.
Patty faces three misdemeanor charges of failure to yield the right-of-way, resulting in death; a violation of the law to obey traffic control devices; and a failure to provide proof of financial responsibility. The arrest warrants were filed February 22. She was released on citations, according to court records.
Patty was appointed a public defender in Anderson County General Sessions Court on Wednesday. She has another court date set for 10 a.m. June 9 in Oak Ridge.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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