The Knoxville woman who allegedly caused a crash on Edgemoor Road that injured two on Valentine’s Day told a state trooper that she consumed two drinks of bourbon and took Xanax not too long before the crash, and she also uses heroin, authorities said.
One person was trapped in a car after the crash, and rescuers had to remove a car door, said Steven Newby, deputy chief of the Claxton Volunteer Fire Department. He said two people were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville in stable condition.
The Knoxville woman accused of causing the 9:45 p.m. crash, Jill A. Graham, 39, was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and vehicular assault. She remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Saturday afternoon.
In arrest warrants, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Brent Buckner said he caught Graham driving north at 82 mph in a 45 mph zone on Clinton Highway while he was doing stationary radar. Buckner pulled out to stop Graham, who was driving a 2012 Volkswagen CC, but she was too far ahead of him.
Buckner said Graham ran the red light at the intersection of Clinton Highway and Edgemoor Road, turning left onto Edgemoor Road. Buckner followed her.
“Before I could catch up with the vehicle, it crashed into a stationary vehicle that was in a turn lane of Highway 170,” Buckner said.
“Upon contact with the driver, I noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her person,” the trooper said in the warrants. He said Graham also had red, watery eyes with dilated pupils.
Buckner said he conducted the only test he could while Graham was at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
“Based on the totality of the circumstances, I concluded that Ms. Graham was impaired to the extent that she could not safely operate a motor vehicle,” Buckner said.
Buckner said the driver of the car that Graham struck, who was also taken to UT, had serious bodily injuries. That driver was identified in a THP preliminary report as Laura Lindsey, 39, of Knoxville.
Buckner had a hold placed on Graham at the hospital, and she was transferred to the Anderson County jail when she was discharged from the UT Medical Center.
A THP preliminary report after the crash said Graham was also charged with seatbelt, lane control, and due care violations. Graham was not using a seat belt, according to the report.
Lindsey’s 2000 Honda Accord had been stopped in the center turn lane near the Shell gas station (Bread Box) on Edgemoor Road, trying to turn left onto South Dogwood Road.
“Vehicle 1 (Graham’s car) was approaching the rear of vehicle 2 (Lindsey’s car) and swerved to the left and crossed over the turn lane and went to the left of vehicle 2,” the preliminary report said. “Vehicle 1 then struck vehicle 2 in the left side. Vehicle 2 was knocked forward into a parking lot of a gas station approximately 35 yards from the area of impact. Vehicle 1 continued westbound in the eastbound lane and exited the roadway over the left shoulder. Vehicle 1 then came to rest in front of a gas station on the shoulder.”
Two passengers in Lindsey’s car, both 17, one from Knoxville and the other from Oliver Springs, were using seat belts and were not injured.