For years, Chapman Highway in Sevier County, Tennessee has been considered a busy and dangerous road, but a fatal car accident in September finally spurred calls for much-needed change. After a van from Cedar Grove Baptist Church, filled with teens returning from a retreat, was struck head-on by another vehicle on Chapman Highway in September 2012, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) completed a round of safety upgrades along the highway. Unfortunately, residents of the TN town say, the changes just aren’t enough to prevent devastating Tennessee car accidents from occurring in the future. If you have suffered injuries in a serious car accident in Nashville, or elsewhere in Tennessee, contact our qualified car accident attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates today.
Two Killed in Deadly Chapman Highway Accident
In the most recent deadly accident on Chapman Highway, an SUV crossed the center line, sending the Cedar Grove Baptist Church van into a ditch and killing the 45-year-old youth pastor and a 16-year-old passenger. Immediately after the tragic accident occurred, area residents demanded that steps be taken to implement safety changes on the deadly highway. However, despite the fact that the TDOT just completed a seven-mile stretch of rumble strip, or grooved markings, down Chapman Highway, many say the changes aren’t enough. Cars continue to speed past the cross marking the accident site, and residents fear there may be additional fatal accidents in the future.
TN Residents Call for Turning Lane
“[The rumble strip] helps some, because it wakes you up when you run across it,” said one local man, but the measure wasn’t exactly what residents of the area had in mind. “We need turning lanes all the way up this highway. It would prevent a whole lot of accidents. The rumble strips are nice, but the turning lane is what we need,” said the same man. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the grooved strip is an important safety improvement for the stretch of road where so many accidents occur. “They can be very helpful for some distractions going on in the car, you drift over, you hit ’em, you look up and you may have time to correct whatever action is going on there,” said Lieutenant Don Boshears.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys for Help
Senator Doug Overby says he is happy with how quickly the rumble strip was added, although he admits additional changes may be required to reduce the risk of Tennessee car accidents on Chapman Highway. This week, the Sevier County grand jury handed down charges against the driver of the SUV involved in the September crash, which included vehicular homicide, DUI and vehicular assault. According to troopers, they also found narcotics on the SUV driver at the time of the deadly collision. If you have been injured in a major TN car accident, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, consult our knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the person found at-fault in the accident, in order to pursue compensation for your losses.