Fatal Wreck in East Knoxville

By: Nick Bona
By: Nick Bona

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Knoxville police spent Saturday afternoon trying to determine what caused a two car wreck that killed one person on Rutledge Pike at Spring Hill Road.

Names have not been released because they want to make sure the victim's family knows the specifics first.

But one witness says he already knows too much.

"It's just kind of slow motion, the truck knocked her into the telephone pole," according to Herschel Earles who witnessed the wreck."I just freaked out, pulled in the parking lot, get out tried to help.
I mean the fire truck was here immediately, within seconds."

What could rescuers do at that point besides shield the scene from passers by?

To drive by such a bad accident can be tough enough, but to be there when it happens is another story.

"I seen the lady, she was crossing the street," another witness said, "she didn't see the truck coming, there was no way she could have seen the truck coming because of that hill."

Rutledge Pike at Spring Hill, whether it's speed, slick road, or blind sports, people just don't seem to care.

"Right here there's no red light," according to Jerry Childers who saw the accident, "people just fly through here.

But when the eyes can't see, the heart fills in the blanks.

"Like that car, they got the tarp over, just a grim reminder of what can happen to your family," Childers says.

He should know, Childers has been there before.

"I lost my oldest son and youngest son both a year and five months and 3 days apart, in accidents on this road."

In a matter of seconds, 15 years past seems just like yesterday.

"You see something like this," Childers says, "and you live it all over again. You feel for the family."

The police are left with sorting the facts and telling the families involved, notching the statistics of what flew where and measuring where to place the blame.

Fate made Herschel Earles a party to a stranger's pain.

"It's terrible," Earles says, "it's a sight I'll never forget."

Shock of the familiar makes Jerry Childers hurt worse.

"You don't ever forget it," he says. "It don't ever, it gets easier with time, but you don't ever forget it."


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