According to the Tennessee Highway patrol, Harold Garland, 78, of East Buffalo, Alcoa apparently died instantly when the late model Dodge Ram pickup truck he was driving northbound on rain slick Highway 129 went out of control in a curve about 1:30 p.m. The truck crossed the road and hit two trees near Home Place Café. Trooper Bryan Martin, and Sgt. Danny Thomas of the Tennessee Highway Patrol commended Jim and Donna Pilkington of the Home Place Café for their response in aiding the injured passenger. The Pilkingtons heard the crash and ran to aid Kathlen Garland, 68, who had a head injury and was semi-coherent. The Pilkingtons provided blankets and took the injured passenger to the restaurant to comfort her and managed to contact relatives. “We knew he was dead but we thought it best not to tell her then,” Donna Pilkington said. Mrs. Garland was transported to Blount Memorial Hospital for treatment of a head injury. The Garlands were returning from spending Christmas with their family in Robbinsville, NC. Their daughter was about 30 minutes ahead of them, sources said. Harold Garland had once worked with Kuhn Brothers/Big K Department stores in management then later owned and operated an Exxon service station on Highway 129 across from McGhee Tyson Airport. Assisting the THP in the investigation, traffic control and securing the scene were Monroe County Deputy Rachel Thompson who was first on the scene, MCSD Cpl. Clint Brookshire, Monroe County Rescue Squad, Monroe County EMS, and Blount County deputies.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.