Treacherous curve leaves two motorists injured


Photo by Dave Boyd
Poga Wreck
Emergency workers from the Carter County Rescue Squad and the Poga Volunteer Fire Department work to extricate an accident victim following a head-on collision at Dead Mans Curve on U.S. Highway 321 Thursday afternoon. Two people were taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.
By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com
A two-vehicle accident on a treacherous section of Highway 321 South in the Poga community injured two women on Thursday.
According to Trooper Jerry Proffitt of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Ford driven by Edeth E. Phillips, 52, 456 Poga Road, Butler, was traveling northbound on Highway 321 when the vehicle entered a steep curve. A Toyota driven by Rebecca Caldwell, 43, of Greeneville, traveling southbound, also entered the curve and crossed the centerline of the highway striking the car driven by Phillips, according to the preliminary THP report. A passenger riding in Caldwell's vehicle, Tonya Davis of Greeneville, was not injured, according to THP.
The Elk Mills-Poga Volunteer Fire Department cut off the top of the Ford to extricate Phillips from her vehicle. Paramedics with the Carter County Rescue Squad treated both Caldwell and Phillips at the scene for several minutes while firefighters attempted to remove them from the vehicles.
"(Phillips) was extricated due to pain in her neck and shoulders," said Proffitt. "The removal of the top and extrication was necessary to ensure the victim did not sustain further injury." The accident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. near an area Proffitt ominously referred to as "dead man's curve." The curve lies near mile marker 5 on Highway 321 between a steep wooded bank and an outcrop that drops roughly 25 feet into Watauga Lake. Dozens of cars were lined up behind the accident while rescuers worked to free the two drivers.
Caldwell and Phillips were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, according to THP. An investigation into the accident was ongoing.