A 20-year-old Powell woman died in a single-vehicle crash during a police pursuit on Poplar Creek Road in Roane County on Wednesday afternoon, and a 15-year-old male driver was injured, authorities said.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol said the juvenile, a Harriman boy who was not identified because of his age, was fleeing from police in a 1998 Dodge pickup at about 3:06 p.m. when he lost control of the truck. It ran off the road and hit a rock wall or cavern opening, the THP said.
Holland Durbrow, 20, was killed in the impact, the THP said. She was not using a seat belt, according to a preliminary report.
WYSH Radio in Clinton reported that Harriman police officers tried to pull over a pickup that had been reported stolen Wednesday afternoon, but the young driver refused to stop. At one point during the pursuit, officers lost sight of the truck on Poplar Creek Road, WSYH said. Moments later, officers came upon the crash scene.
Fire photographer Tom Scott said the juvenile driver was flown to an area hospital by helicopter. The teenager was not wearing a seat belt either, according to the THP.
Drug and alcohol tests have been requested for the driver. They have also been requested for Durbrow, which is routine in fatal crashes. The THP wrote “yes” next to a spot marked “drugs” for Durbrow.
Citations issued after the crash include failure to yield for emergency vehicle, failure to maintain lane, failure to exercise due care, registration violation, no proof of insurance, driving without a license, and seat belt violation, according to the preliminary report.
Criminal charges include criminally negligent homicide, felony fleeing and evading, and reckless endangerment, the THP said.
Poplar Creek Road is north of Oak Ridge, down the hill from Black Oak Ridge at the north side of Oak Ridge. A stretch of it runs roughly parallel to Whippoorwill Drive in west Oak Ridge, but down the ridge toward Oliver Springs. On the east end, the road connects to Mahoney Road off Tri County Boulevard in Oliver Springs, and on the west end it connects to Highway 327 in Blair.
The initial response to Wednesday’s crash was by the Oliver Springs Fire Department, followed by the Blair Fire Department, Scott said. Multiple law enforcement agencies also responded. Poplar Creek Road was blocked about three hours.
In addition to the THP and the Harriman Police Department, members of the Roane County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s investigative staff responded to the scene, WYSH said.
The crash was investigated by THP Trooper Alexander Evans.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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