Two people died in crashes in Anderson County this past weekend. One was a student at Hardin Valley Academy, and the other was a 43-year-old Knoxville woman.
The first crash, which killed the HVA senior, was reported in the Claxton area on Friday night. Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark said it was a graduation season tragedy involving some young people who had been celebrating in Knox County.
“Whether they were served alcohol at a commercial establishment is being investigated,” Clark said in a social media post on Saturday.
Clark said it appeared that eight people were riding in a pickup truck when it crashed in the Claxton area on New Henderson Road at Henderson Bend Road.
“Some may have been riding in the bed of the truck,” Clark said. “One young person lost their life, and two more have been seriously injured. Others appear to be injured less severely. It is heartbreaking to see this scenario repeated too often at this time of year.”
The student who died was Maddie Percell, a senior at Hardin Valley Academy, according to WATE-TV in Knoxville, citing Rob Speas, the executive principal at Hardin Valley Academy.
The crash is under criminal investigation, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and no other information is available yet.
The second crash was reported at about 6:10 p.m. Saturday on Clinton Highway at Lonesome Dove Road.
The THP said Sarah Thompson, 43, of Knoxville, was riding a 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle south on Highway 25 (Clinton Highway) in Anderson County when she crossed over the double yellow line and crashed into a 2014 Ford F-150 pickup truck driven north by Edwin Blush, 54, of Clinton. Thompson was wearing a helmet but died due to the crash, the THP said in a preliminary report.
Blush was wearing a seat belt and was not injured, the report said.
That section of Clinton Highway is part of the curvy, hilly stretch of road just southeast of Edgemoor Road, headed toward Knoxville.