Four-car pileup closes portions of West Elk Avenue

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   Five people escaped injury as two separate motor vehicle accidents caused a four-car pileup, shutting down two lanes of West Elk Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.
   According to officers on the scene, two separate accidents occurred on West Elk Avenue, in front of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car center.
   In the first accident, a Dodge Intrepid driven by Sara McWherter, 67, of Jonesborough, struck the rear end of a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina driven by Calvin Coolidge Harrison, 75, 2412 Anderson St., Bristol. The Lumina was then pushed into a 1987 Ford Bronco driven by John William Redmon, 60, 2368 Siam Road, according to Elizabethton Police Department PTL Michael Merritt.
   "He (Redmon) had stopped in the left lane of the west bound lane of travel to make a left hand turn into Enterprise Rent-A-Car," Merritt said. The car driven by Harrison was traveling behind the Bronco driven by Redmon and had stopped behind that vehicle to allow it to turn.
   "They (Redmon and Harrison) had both come to a complete stop when Mrs. McWherter, who was driving the Intrepid, struck the Lumina, causing it to strike the Bronco," Merritt said.
   Within seconds, the second accident at that same location occurred. "After they (the three cars) came to a rest, then a red Chevrolet S10 struck the rear end of the Intrepid," Merritt said. "It was actually two accidents that occurred simultaneously."
   None of the drivers were injured and Ned McWherter, a passenger in the Dodge Intrepid, also escaped without injury.
   Two of the four vehicles involved, the Dodge Intrepid driven by Mrs. McWherter and the pickup truck driven by Wyatt, sustained heavy damage and were rendered inoperable. They were towed from the scene.
   The Ford Bronco and Chevrolet Lumina sustained only minor damage and were driven from the scene by their owners.
   Traffic on West Elk Avenue was limited to one lane of travel in each direction while officers worked to clear the scene.
   Mrs. McWherter was charged with following too closely in connection with the first accident. Wyatt was charged with following too closely in the second accident.