At least four of the victims were 21 years of age or younger
It was a horrible few days for loss of life as seven individuals passed away within a four-day period in six separate car related accidents. The accidents were handled by different agencies.
According to dispatch with the Tennessee Hwy Patrol at approximately 1:45 a.m. on Friday, July 25th, a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder was traveling southbound at US 411 approximately 1/10 of a mile North of Ogle Rd. in Sevier County when it crossed the northbound lane, traveled into a ditch, through a yard and struck a tree head on. Kristin Elizabeth Gibson, 20 of Seymour was dead at the scene. Her daughter, Kailee Elizabeth Taylor, eight months old, was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. (See related story on this page)
The Seymour Fire Department arrived on the scene within minutes of the accident. “It’s just been terrible all of the fatalities that have occurred recently.” Stated Assistant Fire Chief Rod Davis. “I think it’s particularly hard on the younger members of the volunteer team who respond to the calls and are not used to dealing with these situations. It’s a lot to deal with.” Trooper Derrick Watson of the Tennessee Hwy Patrol responded to the scene. The infant was in a child restraint. According to the THP Gibson was not wearing a seat belt.
In the Great Smoky Mountains national Park on Sunday morning around 11:00 a.m., Jason Craig Graves, a 17-year-old from Montevelo, AL, was fatally injured when he lost control of his rental moped and fell into the path of an oncoming van. Jason and his father, Ricky Lee Graves, 42, had rented the two-wheelers from a Gatlinburg shop and had reportedly ridden about 11 miles into the park when the accident occurred. The youth was wearing a helmet. No charges were filed in the accident.
The Blount County Sheriff’s department reported that a 21-year-old Maryville woman was killed in a single-vehicle accident shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday morning, July 26. The Blount County Sheriff’s Department, assisted by the Blount County Fire Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service, responded to the 1000 block of Whites Mill Road at 12:55 a.m. to the report of an accident. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Mila V. Rowe, 21, of Maryville dead at the scene. Rowe was traveling east on Whites Mill Road when her 1999 Honda Accord veered off the left side of the roadway, came back on the road and careened off the right side of the roadway and down a 5-foot embankment. Rowe’s vehicle struck a tree forcing the vehicle into a 360-degree turn.
There were no other passengers in the vehicle. Rowe was not wearing a seatbelt.
In Knox County four people were killed in four separate accidents since Wednesday. One within the city limits involving a mini van and Knox Area Transit, one on Asheville Hwy and a third on John Sevier Hwy. Lastly, the pastor of New Hopewell Baptist Church, Corey Golden, 40, died Friday morning while working on the brakes on his family’s van, when it slipped off the jack and landed on top of him.