Anderson County woman dies in crash on Lake City Highway

Information from WYSH Radio

An Anderson County woman died in a single-vehicle crash on Lake City Highway Tuesday morning, authorities said.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 71-year-old Marianna Pearson of Clinton had been headed south in a Mazda 626 at around 9 a.m. Tuesday when she lost control of the car while negotiating a right-hand curve near Pumphouse Lane. The car went off the left side of the road and struck an embankment.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Driver stable with minor injuries after car rolls, hits tree

Oliver Springs Highway Crash

The male driver of this Ford Taurus was stable with minor injuries after going off Oliver Springs Highway, rolling down a drop-off, and hitting a large tree, authorities said. The driver had to be extricated and was taken by ambulance to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge. (Photos by Tom Scott)


Rescuers had to extricate the male driver of a car that rolled down a drop-off alongside Oliver Springs Highway and hit a large tree Tuesday morning, and the man was in stable condition with minor injuries, authorities said.

The single-vehicle crash was reported at about 6:50 a.m. Tuesday on Oliver Springs Highway near Bill Key Lane.

The Ford Taurus was headed toward Oliver Springs when it rolled a few times down a 10- to 15-foot drop-off alongside the highway, said Stephanie Fox, assistant chief of the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department. The car stopped when it hit a large tree, she said. [Read more…]

Driver escapes before train hits pickup on railroad tracks

Pickup Truck and Train Crash on Dutch Valley Road

The driver escaped from this pickup truck before it was hit by a train on railroad tracks alongside Dutch Valley Road in Marlow on Sunday afternoon. (Photos by Tom Scott)


A driver was able to escape from a pickup truck before it was hit by a train on railroad tracks alongside Dutch Valley Road in Marlow on Sunday afternoon, a fire official said.

The Chevrolet S-10 pickup had apparently hit the ditch alongside Dutch Valley Road, went airborne, and landed on the tracks, where it was stuck, said Stephanie Fox, assistant chief for the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much time elapsed before the truck was hit by the train near Smith Road. The crash was reported at about 2:50 p.m. Sunday. [Read more…]

State officials, local agencies to crack down on seat belt use, impaired driving

Kendell Poole

Kendell Poole

Traffic fatalities in Anderson County are up significantly this year, and Tennessee officials and local law enforcement agencies will announce a campaign on Monday to crack down on drivers not using seat belts or driving while impaired during the holidays.

The announcement is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, November 10, at the Oak Ridge Civic Center at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Among those participating will be Kendell Poole, director of the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, as well as representatives of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, and Oak Ridge, Clinton, Norris, and Rocky Top police departments.

“There have been 16 traffic fatalities in Anderson County in 2014, which represents a 77 percent increase compared to 2013,” a press release said. “This is the third highest year-to-date difference in fatalities that an individual county has seen in Tennessee. Seventy-five percent of the fatalities were unrestrained. In an effort to prevent additional fatalities and injuries, Anderson County agencies will be increasing enforcement and conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.” [Read more…]

Powell man struck, killed along Clinton Highway

Information from WYSH Radio

A Powell man was killed Saturday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle while walking along Clinton Highway.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Kenneth Miller, 66, was walking north along Clinton Highway when it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. A vehicle also headed north crossed onto the shoulder just south of Stanley Road and hit Miller. THP said the driver was 77-year-old Patsy Kirby of Powell.

While alcohol and drugs are not believed to have played a role in Saturday’s accident, the THP report indicates that citations and/or charges are pending.

THP: Jacksboro man killed in I-75 crash

Information from WYSH Radio

One person died in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 North in Anderson County on Thursday afternoon.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the scene just before 3:30 p.m. at exit 129, the Rocky Top (Lake City) exit.

The THP report indicates that a 1998 Ford pickup left the right side of the roadway, traveled into a ditch and flipped, partially ejecting the driver, 29-year-old William Overton of Jacksboro. Troopers say he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Officers cracking down on drunk, impaired drivers on Labor Day weekend

Drive Sober

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be out in force this Labor Day holiday as part of the “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving, a press release said.

“This effective nationwide campaign will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Anderson County,” Sheriff Paul White said in a press release. “The ‘Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will focus on drunk and impaired drivers with increased enforcement.”

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will take part in this campaign by saturation patrols during the Labor Day holiday period, which runs through September 1. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign on Friday, August 29, in cooperation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers will take aim at impaired or drunk drivers throughout Anderson County in an effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities, White said. [Read more…]

Motorcyclist dies in four-vehicle crash on Edgemoor Road

Fatal Crash on Edgemoor Road

Edgemoor Road was closed for several hours near the Bull Run Fossil Plant on Wednesday evening as authorities investigated a four-vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist.


CLAXTON—A Powell motorcyclist died Wednesday afternoon in a four-vehicle crash on Edgemoor Road in front of the Bull Run Fossil Plant, authorities said.

Kenneth Lubthisophon, 55, was riding east on Edgemoor Road at about 4:41 p.m. Wednesday when he hit the left rear of a car driven by a 54-year-old Knoxville woman who was slowing down for stopped traffic, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Lubthisophon’s 1989 Honda G15 was then hit from behind by a pickup truck driven by a 25-year-old Clinton man, and Lubthisophon was thrown from the motorcycle into the westbound traffic lane, where he was hit by a second pickup truck driven by a 70-year-old Clinton man, according to a preliminary THP report.

Lubthisophon was wearing a helmet, the report said. [Read more…]

Three die in Friday night rollover crash on Wolf Valley Road

Three people died in a single-vehicle crash on East Wolf Valley Road in Anderson County on Friday night when the car went off the road, went airborne, rolled over, and ejected the three occupants, authorities said.

The 2004 Nissan S18 was traveling west on East Wolf Valley Road near White Oak Lane at about 11:30 p.m. Friday when it started to skid as driver Melissa A. Kelley, 44, of Knoxville, tried to go around a slight left curve, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said. Kelley was driving too fast for roadway conditions, and the four-door car left the right side of the road before going airborne and rolling over, according to a preliminary report by the THP.

Kelley died. So did her two passengers, William A. Housley, 44, of Clinton, and Kurt J. Miner, 25, of Heiskell. [Read more…]

ORPD: Operation Safe Start starts Monday, first day of school

The Oak Ridge Police Department will begin Operation Safe Start on Monday, the first day of school.

The ORPD asked motorists to drive safely in and around school zones, especially during arrival and dismissal times. Every division of the Police Department will be used to strictly enforce traffic ordinances in and around school zones, a press release said.

“The beginning of the school year is a time when there is a greater risk of transportation-related injuries to children,” the press release said. “When it comes to the safety of our youth, there can be no margin for error. The well-being of our children is one of the highest of priorities at the Oak Ridge Police Department.” [Read more…]

DA cites Lay’s job ‘performance problems,’ sheriff candidate claims political targeting

Dave Clark

Dave Clark

Note: This story was updated at 10:25 a.m. August 5.

DA responds to political targeting charge

There was no political targeting of Trooper Anthony Lay before his five-day suspension by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in May, but there were “real, serious, and repeated performance failures,” Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark said Friday.

Clark documented what he called Lay’s performance issues in a statement released Friday. A DUI charge in one case was dismissed, Clark said, after Lay failed to submit a complete case file and then did not respond to requests for documents by fax, mail, and email. He cited two cases where Lay failed to appear in response to a subpoena. In one of those cases, Lay faced potential arrest for contempt of court and showed up 20 minutes late, but the judge dismissed the case because Lay wasn’t present, the DA said.

Clark said he saved Lay from going to jail in that case because he declined to have the trooper arrested and instead called his sergeant to see if he could get Lay to court to avoid further trouble.

Clark cited another case where he said Lay failed to arrest a driver who was impaired and had four or more prior DUI convictions, possessed drugs and drug paraphernalia, and was a habitual motor vehicle offender. Lay issued the driver a ticket, but he should have taken the driver into custody after the man finished his medical treatment, Clark said.

In issuing his statement Friday, Clark said he was responding to Lay’s charges in recent stories about the trooper’s suspension by the THP in May. In those stories, published in several media outlets, Lay said he was the target of political attacks. [Read more…]

Heiskell woman dies in Wednesday crash

A Heiskell woman died in a two-car crash on Wednesday afternoon on East Wolf Valley Road in Anderson County.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said the crash happened shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday when Patricia Beckinger, 68, of Heiskell, lost control of her westbound Chevy Cavalier. It crossed into the eastbound lane and hit a 2000 Toyota Camry being driven by Alexandria Bone, 18, of Andersonville.

Beckinger died in the wreck, while Bone suffered what were described as minor injuries. Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt, according to a preliminary report by the THP. [Read more…]