City man, granddaughter die in Alabama crash

From Wire Reports

   An Elizabethton man and his 10-year old granddaughter were killed Thursday in a traffic accident on Interstate 59 about 40 miles northeast of Birmingham, Ala.
   According to Alabama state troopers, a 1999 Honda Accord driven by David Elmer "Gunsmoke" Hatley, 52, 700 Willow St., was traveling south on I-59 when his vehicle crossed a grassy median and collided head-on with a northbound Ford Taurus station wagon. A witness said two of the cars became airborne, and a Mazda 626 was hit as it passed under them. The Accord and Taurus were crushed to about half their normal size.
   The accident occurred around 8:30 p.m., and traffic was backed up for miles, closing lanes on both sides of the interstate.
   Hatley and his granddaughter, Kelsey Renee Guy, 10, 3840 Ottway Road, Greeneville, reportedly were on their way to Speigner, Ala., for Easter weekend. Guy apparently was napping in the back seat when the accident occurred.
   Relatives told the Birmingham News that Guy, who was on spring break, had called Hatley several times, talking about wanting to visit her great-grandmother, Katie Jenkins of Speigner. Hatley's wife, Susan, who is employed by Eastman of Kingsport, was unable to make the trip due to work, the relative said.
   Joint funeral services will be held at 8 p.m. Monday at Tetrick Funeral Home's Chapel of Peace with graveside services and interment set for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Wilson Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Tetrick's or at the home, or the home of a sister, Linda Wiseman, 232 Long Hollow Road, at anytime.
   According to the highway patrol, the driver of the Ford, Phyllis Larue Daniels, 44, of Albertville, Ala., her mother, Madge Larue, 66, also of Albertville, and Larue's sister, Emma Jean Leak, 72, of Arab, Ala., were pronounced dead at the scene. Buford Larue, 68, Larue's husband, was hospitalized in stable condition. The family was on its way home from visitation for a relative at a Birmingham funeral home when the accident occurred.
   Dixie Richey, 56, of Odenville, Ala., driver of the Mazda, also was pronounced dead at the scene.
   Troopers said the wreck was the deadliest in recent memory.