Woman killed after being struck by car

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com
A 65-year-old city woman was killed early Wednesday morning when she was struck by a vehicle as she tried to cross a downtown street.
Shirley J. Kress, of 306 E. C St., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. According to police, a vehicle driven by Howard R. Cannon, age 71, of 1017 Dejarnette St., struck Kress at approximately 5 a.m.
Cannon was traveling west on Broad Street in the outside lane and passed through a green light at the intersection of Lynn Avenue when "a person hit the windshield right in front of my eyes," a press release from the Elizabethton Police Department states.
According to an accident report completed by EPD Sgt. Jack Ramsey, Kress was struck by the front driver's side of Cannon's vehicle and knocked approximately 27.25 feet before landing in the inside westbound lane.
Cannon has not been charged in the accident and the investigation is continuing. According to Ramsey, a blood sample was taken from both Kress and Cannon to determine if either party was under the influence of alcohol or medication. "There is no evidence that he was under the influence," Ramsey said.
A member of the EPD's accident reconstruction team, Ramsey said there is no evidence that Cannon was traveling over the speed limit when he hit Kress. "We're not sure and don't yet have a valid estimate, but we believe that it is consistent with a low-speed impact," he said.
However, visibility may have been a contributing factor, according to Ramsey. "I would say that with the weather and time of day that visibility was a contributing factor as well as the fact that she was not crossing at an appropriate crosswalk," he said.
Statements taken by investigators from McDonald's employees revealed that Kress was a frequent patron of the restaurant and came in every morning to eat breakfast. "Ms. Elizabeth Roark stated that Ms. Kress would never cross in the crosswalk but would cross the road directly in front of the entrance," the EPD press release states. "Ms. Roark stated that Ms. Kress had a hard time getting around and that the employees usually had to help her open the door."
It had been raining prior to the accident and the temperature was 51 degrees, according to the EPD press release. Kress was wearing dark colored pants with a light colored shirt at the time of the accident. Cannon was not injured in the accident.
"(Cannon) was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital for evaluation by EPD Sgt. Roger Crowe because of the evident emotional shock resulting from the collision," Ramsey stated.