Accident leaves one dead, three others injured

By Abby Morris

Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   An elderly woman died and three other persons were injured in a traffic accident at the intersection of West Elk Avenue and G Street just before Noon on Thursday.
   Arlie E. Hamilton, 84, 519 Sabine St., was pronounced dead on the scene when emergency personnel arrived. She had been a passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband, Clifford Herman "C. H." Hamilton, also 84.
   According to Elizabethton Police Department PTL Carl Burroughs, who responded to the scene, Mrs. Hamilton died as a result of severe head injuries and a broken neck. Her husband was taken to the Johnson City Medical Center by the Carter County Rescue Squad to be treated for internal injuries and a head injury. He was listed in fair condition Thursday evening. "It was not a life threatening injury, but it was a serious injury," Burroughs said.
   The car driven by Mr. Hamilton was struck by a vehicle driven by Brenda J. Martin, 49, of Wheelwright, Ky. She was taken to the Johnson City Medical Center for observation due to a non-serious leg injury, Burroughs said.
   Kristi Martin, 21, of Bevinsba, Ky., was the passenger in the car driven by Martin. She was also taken to the Johnson City Medical Center for treatment due to a head injury in the accident. She was listed in good condition Thursday evening. Carter County Rescue Squad workers removed the top of the vehicle in order to remove Kristi Martin as a precautionary measure.
   "The Cadillac was coming east into town," Burroughs said. "The Honda Accord (driven by Hamilton) was going west attempting to make a left hand turn onto G Street and crossed in front of the Cadillac and contact was made."
   When the vehicles collided, the front passenger side of the vehicle driven by Martin struck the front passenger door of the vehicle driven by Hamilton. "That's what we call a T-Bone, a nightmare of a wreck," Burroughs said.
   After the collision, both vehicles came to rest in the eastbound lanes of West Elk Avenue. Those lanes were shut down temporarily as emergency personnel worked to remove the injured persons from the vehicles.
   According to Burroughs, witnesses at the scene of the accident were able to aid the EPD's Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) Team as they investigated the cause of the accident. "We had two witnesses and they both agreed that the car with the fatality failed to yield," he said.
   Burroughs added that Hamilton had failed to yield the right of way as he attempted to make the left hand turn from West Elk Avenue onto G Street. "He made a left hand turn on a straight through green light," he said. "He wasn't authorized to make a left hand turn. He failed to yield to the oncoming traffic."
   According to Burroughs, speed was not a factor in the accident and both vehicles were observing the speed limit, which is 45 miles per hour on that portion of West Elk Avenue. "It was all in the way it hit," he said.
   None of the individuals involved had been wearing their safety belts at the time of the collision. "That may have made a difference," said Burroughs.