Note: This story was last updated at 1 p.m. Jan 16.
A three-year-old died and five other people were taken to a trauma center in Knoxville after a serious crash in Oak Ridge on Friday evening, authorities said.
The fatal two-vehicle crash involved 11 people. It was reported at about 5:15 p.m. Friday at Emory Valley Road and Lafayette Drive.
Those taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, a Level 1 Trauma Center, were four adults and two children. One of those children is the three-year-old who died (the child was initially reported to be four). The four adults and two children were all in one vehicle, an older model dark-colored or black sport utility vehicle, or SUV.
Five people in a second vehicle—four adults and one child—were reported to not have injuries, according to the City of Oak Ridge.
The intersection was closed for about four hours as police investigated. The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately clear. The names and ages of the other people involved in the crash haven’t been released yet.
The SUV appeared to have been going north on Lafayette Drive at the time of the crash. It wasn’t clear if the second vehicle, a newer silver Volkswagen sedan, was going south or turning left from the southbound lanes onto Emory Valley Road.
The SUV ended up at the base of a stoplight pole on the northeast corner of the intersection, near the Bristol Park Apartments. Four people were entrapped but not pinned, said David Harrington, Oak Ridge Fire Department battalion chief.
No one was ejected, Harrington said.
It’s not clear if everyone in the vehicle was restrained. Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi said the second child who was taken to UT Medical Center was in a car seat, but it’s not clear yet if the three-year-old who died was.
Harrington said it was considered a mass casualty event due to the number of patients. Two city ambulances responded, and so did four ambulances from Anderson County EMS.
A crash reconstruction team from the Clinton Police Department responded to help investigate the crash.
A UT Lifestar medical helicopter was unable to respond because of the weather.
The SUV was heavily damaged, especially on its front end. Damage to the other vehicle, the Volkswagen sedan, appeared to be less significant.
People who live in the Woodland neighborhood said the crash was loud. It was heard from several blocks away. The crash appeared severe enough that the stoplights on the metal pole where the SUV stopped were twisted at an angle.
The roadway re-opened at about 9:15 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, Sarah Self, spokesperson for the City of Oak Ridge, said one of the adult passengers from the SUV had been released from UT Medical Center. The condition of the other patients (three adults and one child) was not available.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Oak Ridge resident Kevin Rice helped us monitor scanner traffic on this call. We thank him for his help.
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