Street Sweeper Strikes Pedestrian, 2 Killed

Powell, Knox County (WVLT) - A deadly collision involving a pregnant woman raises a number of questions.

That collision took two lives, and made the drive into work extremely slow-going for hundreds of others.

Deputies say a street-sweeper truck tried to avoid two people crossing the street.

But struck and killed one of them.

The Emory, Clinton Highway crossroads has stop lights, and turn-lanes.

But neighbors say the traffic can be heavy and fast, long after dark and long before dawn.

"Her husband was just screaming please bring her back, please bring her back to life," nothing could prepare Kristie Haynes for what she saw at Emory Road and Clinton Highway just before dawn. "The ambulance people were working on a woman in the middle of the road. And she possibly looked like she was pregnant."

Deputies say her injuries were too severe to save her.

Injuries sustained they say, when a street sweeper hit her, as she and her boyfriend tried to cross.

Skid marks show where the sweeper swerved. An over-correction that brought it across Clinton Highway's Southbound lanes 50 yards off the road.

Through brush.

Into a ditch.
Witnesses say sweepers two man crew was trapped inside for at least twenty minutes. The passenger died at UT Medical Center.

The driver, treated and released.

"I believe they ain't paying attention, not watching that light," says

Sheriff's officers aren't saying who they believe might be at fault.

What is clear, how easy it is for drivers to get distracted, even in the middle of a crash investigation.

"This isn't the first wreck since I've been living here. There's been two or three," says Phillip Weaver, who live near the intersection.

Couple of weeks ago, a girl lost her life right here on Emory.

Eighteen-year-old Amanda Cabage, killed ten days ago when her car missed a curve, hit a tree, and landed in a creek.

Clinton Highway has fewer curves, but the speed limit is 50, less than a half mile from the site of this morning's tragedy.

"It was just plain awful, what you can see," says Haynes.

Neither Kristi Haynes nor Phillip Weaver know any of the victims. They don't need to, to believe, "Too many people dying around here," as Weaver puts it.

The sweeper's driver has been identified as Bobby Collins.

The Sheriff's Department will not released the name of his passenger killed, nor of the woman pedestrian who lost her life, until investigators are sure families have been told.

Privacy laws prevent UT Medical Center from telling us the fate of the woman's unborn child.

A co-worker says the sweeper crew was returning from a job just south of where the collision occurred.