A male driver was flown to a hospital by a medical helicopter after going down an embankment and crashing into a tree alongside Melton Lake Drive on Monday, authorities said.
The single-vehicle crash was reported at about 12:16 p.m. Monday across from the entrance to Melton Lake Park. Rescuers reported that the driver was conscious.
The man was taken by ambulance to a peninsula near the UT-Battelle finish-line tower near the south end of Melton Lake Park, where a University of Tennessee Lifestar helicopter picked him up. The Lifestar helicopter landed at about 12:54 p.m. and left about 15 minutes later.
The car, a blue Toyota Camry LE, went down a small embankment off the west side of the road, the southbound lane, where it stopped in brush, facing north, after reportedly hitting the tree. Rescuers reported that they had to remove the roof, and it was peeled away from the top of the car, which was about 30-40 feet off the road.
The cause of the crash had not been determined as of Monday afternoon. The identity and condition of the driver weren’t immediately available.
Steve Dixon, a Knoxville resident who was riding a bicycle at Melton Lake Park, said he saw a cloud of dust and the heard a loud “clunk” when the car crashed. He called 911.
A woman who had been walking along the waterfront ran across the street, and a driver in a white SUV, which had been behind the Toyota that crashed, also stopped, Dixon said.
“It looked to me like he just ran right off the road,” Dixon said of the driver of the four-door Toyota.
Police re-opened the road at about 1:25 p.m.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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