Several injured in accidents across county


Photo by Abby Morris-Frye
A female juvenile escape injury Tuesday morning after she lost control of her vehicle on Gap Creek Road and the car struck an embankment and flipped.

By Abby Morris-Frye and Thomas Wilson
star staff
amorris@starhq.com; twilson@starhq.com
  Multiple accidents that occurred in Carter County on Tuesday left several people injured, but one female somehow escaped unharmed even though she lost control of her vehicle, causing it to slide off the roadway and flip.
  According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Greg Marlowe, the 16-year-old was driving a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta north on Gap Creek Road at the time of the crash. "She lost control on the wet pavement, overcorrected and slid into an embankment and the vehicle flipped," Marlowe said. "She's very lucky. She was wearing her seatbelt, which saved her life."
  The female did not sustain any injuries in the crash, despite the fact that the car hit rocks along the embankment and came to rest on its top. "She didn't have a scratch on her," Marlowe said.
  At the time of the investigation into the accident, it was unclear whether speed was a contributing factor.
  Later in the day, around 3:30 p.m., another Carter County teenager was not so lucky.
  Tiffany Bare, 18, 1170 Rittertown Rd., Hampton, sustained possible neck and back injuries when the Acura Integra she was driving traveled into the path of a mini-van and was struck. Both Bare and the driver of the mini-van, Mildred Johnson of Bluff City, were transported to the Johnson City Medical Center hospital by members of the Carter County Rescue Squad.
  According to Carter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Shannon Deloach, Bare told emergency medical personnel on the scene that she was experiencing neck pain, while Johnson, who is pregnant, said she was having abdominal pain.
  The accident occurred where U.S. Highway 19E intersects with Rachel M. Clawson Avenue in front of Hampton High School. Deloach said Bare was trying to turn left from Rachel M. Clawson Avenue onto the southbound lanes of 19E, but a vehicle traveling north on the highway and turning right onto Rachel M. Clawson Avenue blocked her line of sight, and she pulled into the path of the mini-van.
  Bare, who was extricated from her vehicle by members of the Carter County Rescue Squad, and Johnson were listed in "stable condition" at the Johnson City Medical Center Tuesday night.
  CCSD and rescue squad personnel also responded to a single-vehicle accident in the 2600 residential area of Bob Little Road shortly before 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
  CCSD Deputy Michael Carlock said the accident occurred when a Chevy pickup truck driven by Dana Barnette, 45, of Elizabethton, slid while rounding a sharp curve and overturned onto its top. Barnette was the only occupant of the vehicle.
  Barnette was wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred, police said. She was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center by the CCRS. Carlock said Barnette was conscious and alert when public safety personnel arrived at the scene. Her injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
  Another two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 321 near the Rat Branch Recreation Area in Hampton shortly after 4 p.m. sent two Butler residents to a local hospital.
  According to CCSD Deputy Amos Halava, the accident occurred when a silver Chevrolet sedan traveling south on U.S. Highway 321 struck a red pickup truck traveling north.
  The driver of the sedan, identified as Ashley E. Cole, 19, 450 Copley Branch Rd., Butler, was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital by the CCRS.
  The driver of the pickup truck, identified as Larry R. Birchfield, 57, 5034 Sink Valley Rd., Butler, was extricated from his vehicle by members of the Hampton-Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department. He was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital by the CCRS.
  Injuries sustained by the victims were not believed to be life threatening.
  Halava said his preliminary investigation found slippery road conditions likely contributed to the accident and neither driver would face charges. He had not determined whether seat belts were used by either driver.