A Knoxville man who was allegedly driving a dump truck pulling a trailer that came loose and struck a car head-on on Emory Valley Road in September, trapping and injuring a driver, has been cited for violations of state laws governing trailer brakes and adequate safety chains, according to court records.
Gerald D. Cureton, 71, had an initial appearance scheduled on Wednesday morning in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge. The court date was reset to November 9 to see if Cureton hires an attorney.
A violation of the brake requirement is a Class C misdemeanor, according to a copy of that section of state law, Tennessee Code Annotated 55-9-204, posted on LexisNexis.
A violation of the safety chain requirement is punishable by a fine of $50 on a first offense and a fine of between $50 and $500 on second and subsequent offenses, according to a copy of another section of state law, TCA 55-7-114, posted on LexisNexis.
The two-vehicle crash was reported on Emory Valley Road at Carnegie Drive in east Oak Ridge at about 5:29 p.m. Friday, September 2. An Oak Ridge Police Department crash report said a trailer with a Case skid steer loader on it came loose from a 1994 GMC dump truck being driven east by Cureton. The trailer and loader crossed into the oncoming westbound lane, where they hit a 2010 Toyota Camry four-door sedan being driven west by Arminda “Mindy” Carter, 32, of Oak Ridge.
After the impact, the car and trailer both moved northeast into the grass on the northeast side of the intersection and off the road. The trailer and loader came to rest on top of the Camry.
Carter was pinned inside. It tookfirefighters and rescuers about 55 minutes to remove her. They used block-like wooden cribbing to stabilize the vehicles and a tow truck to help lift the trailer and loader and take weight off of her. During the rescue, they were able to give Carter oxygen and intravenous fluids.
Once she was removed from the Camry, Carter was taken by ambulance to Roane State Community College, where a Lifestar helicopter picked her up and flew her to the trauma center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, the crash report said. At last check, on September 6, she had been listed in stable condition at UT Medical Center.
On Wednesday, Carter’s brother, Justin Pruitt, said his sister has just been released from rehabilitation to go home. Co-workers and friends built her a ramp so she can get into her house. She is wheelchair-bound, and she still can’t walk or move around, Pruitt said. He said his sister was hospitalized or in rehab until the end of September.
Carter is a nurse at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and she is married with three young children. Friends who started a gofundme page to raise money to help the family pay for food, transportation, bills, child care, and other essentials while Carter is out of work and recovering say that she is a pediatric oncology nurse at Children’s Hospital.
See previous story on the crash here.
See previous story on the cause of the crash, as reported by the Oak Ridge Police Department, here.
See previous story on Carter’s condition after the crash here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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