Bar Owner, General Manager Both Killed in Crash

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) - An overnight car accident took the life of a Knoxville bar owner and its general manager.

It happened on Kingston Pike.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford takes you to the scene with more on how police are investigating the case.

Police say the 2003 Infiniti was traveling east bound on Kingston Pike when it veered across two lanes of traffic and went straight into this utility pole.

"The car actually split in half and both the driver and passenger were pronounced dead on the scene," says Darrell DeBusk, KPD spokesman.

Knoxville Police say defense attorney and owner of the 4620 bar, 37-year old Melissa Rosenthal was speeding on Kingston Pike just before 1:00 a.m. Wednesday. Her passenger was 31-year old John Heiser, the general manager of 4620.

"We had some witnesses to the incident. We also are able to take measurements of the crash. There's just a lot that goes into the reconstruction of a fatality," says DeBusk.

KPD says Rosenthal was wearing her seatbelt, but Heiser was ejected from the car, and they're not sure if he was wearing his. Detectives are trying to determine if alcohol played a role.

"It's standard procedure with a fatality in the state of Tennessee to take a blood draw from the victim. That blood sample will be taken to TBI lab for analysis," DeBusk explains.

KPD says the destruction of the car and the skid marks throughout the street and sidewalk tell them Rosenthal was traveling well above the 45 mile an hour speed limit, extremely dangerous on this roadway.

"There are a lot of crashes through that area. Most of the time when you have a crash through there, speed is one of the factors," says DeBusk.

KPD says something as simple as slowing down, can saves lives.

KPD says it could be several weeks before they get the blood results back from TBI.

We'll bring you more updates on the investigation as soon as they become available.


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