Two Killed in Separate Morgan County Crashes

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Petros, Morgan County (WVLT) - Two accidents within two hours this morning, on the same road, claim two lives, and leave two young girls injured.

Just after 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, 27-year-old Heather Chaney of Oliver Springs was killed in a rollover crash on Highway 62 in Petros.

The Highway Patrol says Chaney was not wearing her seatbelt.

Chaney's brother, a Petros firefighter was one of the first on the scene.

Then an hour and half later, 34-year-old Christopher Levesque of Kingston died when he tried to make a left turn onto highway 62 from liberty road.

Troopers say he steered into the path of an SUV driven by Sharon Redmon.

Redmon wasn't injured.

Troopers say Levesque wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

Neither were the two girls in his car. 10-year-old Latisa Morris is remains in critical condition at UT Medical Center this evening, while her sister 12-year-old Telisa Morris is in serious condition.

Volunteer TV’s Stephen McLamb traveled to Petros to see how the community members, victim's families, and firefighters are gathering together with the help of a local church to get through these tough times.

You can go to most any home here and ask who Heather Chaney is and they'll know.

This community lost two people Tuesday and are leaning on each other and the church to get through this tragedy.

An early morning car accident off highway 62 in Petros took the life of 27-year-old Heather Chaney. It is a tough loss for this tight-knit community, where one of the first responders was her brother.

"Gotta swallow real deep and go on. You don't have much of a choice. Embrace the families as best as you can,” says Petros Fire Chief David Whitsel.

Just over and hour later, five miles down the same road, a man is killed in an auto accident. Friends say two young girls were seriously injured also. Owners of the Brushy Mountain Market say the parents of the two girls once worked there. Heather was a current employee.

"Heather's mother worked here for a little while, while she was unemployed. Heather's sister worked here for close to a year,” says Joe Duncan, Heather’s employer.

Joe Duncan says deaths seem to happen in threes here and feels that as Heather's family grieves, it's time to pull together. "It's a sincere gathering of caring and wanting to know what they can do to help each other, because when you lose one, it's a loss for the whole community.”

But in this little town, Petros Baptist Church is probably the largest structure, where Heather's family attends and the little girls came to Bible study.

"It will be a lot of Sundays that the church will grieve,” Loretta Duncan says the accidents are a big blow to the brother of the young girls involved in their wreck. "He was baptized. He was saved during our vacation Bible school this year. We had it the first week of June."

So in a town where everybody knows everybody, Loretta says the community just has to put their faith in God to answer why. "We just have to look at it that God was ready for them to go. It was their moment."

One of Heather's family members finds some irony in her death.

They say she was just ten years old when her father passed away and she now leaves behind a ten-year-old daughter.

They say they now believe heather is in heaven with her father.

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  • by telisa latesa on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:21 PM
    i am the father of the two girls that was in that crash that left them in ut for two months i stayed by there side all that time and i prayed every day i had prayrs all over the world and i want to thank all of u that helped my two babys through this ruff time thank u i LOVE all of you
  • by Christy Dyle Location: Bellevue, Mi on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:03 PM
    I am the big sister of Telisa and Latisa. I also can't make it down to be with my family, although I call every day to check on them. I am keeping them both in my prayers and thoughts and I hope that every one will do the same, the whole family needs all the prayers they can get. To my Dad, Mom, brothers and sisters, I love you all and I hope to see you soon.
  • by Leslie Location: Oak Ridge on Jul 3, 2007 at 07:03 AM
    My heart goes out to all the families involved. I did not know Heather but I know Latisa and Telisa. They are beautiful little girls so full of talent and potential. I'm praying for them daily, and for Dan... God give him strength to be there for his girls.
  • by lisa Location: campbell county on Jul 1, 2007 at 12:10 AM
    thank everyone for the support of the dad for the 2 girls the car accident on june the 26 2007 ,let us remember these girls also have a mother who loves them unconditional to the mother you are in our prayers also ,this girls love her very much also please dont pass judgement on any one for the family who lost there son you to are also in our prayers to heathers family you to are in the prayers of the community
  • by Sabrina Location: michigan on Jun 30, 2007 at 07:47 PM
    Im the big sister of Talisa and Latisa Morris, Im unable to make it down there to be there for the girls and my dad. My heart is there with them though. It really sounds like the community is helping and supporting a lot. Those two girls are beautiful and full of life. They mean the world to my dad and I know he is having a hard time even if it doesnt show. So please anybody who is there with him please take care of him and the girls. Thank you.
  • by Melissa Location: Alabama/ Petros on Jun 29, 2007 at 01:13 PM
    I agree with H.P.about the people losing the site of what happened which don't get me wrong I think that they should fix the roads up there in Petros because I have Family there and I come in sometimes,but anyways I went to school with Heather Chaney and she will greatly be missed..I would talk to her every now and then which I am going to miss talking to her. She was a great loving person that you could ever meet and I know that she was a good mother to her kids as well.I do pray for Heather's family and also about the other wreck that was other people out there please pray for both of the families.
  • by Settles family Location: Coalfield on Jun 29, 2007 at 12:40 PM
    Dan, Adam, Tyler, Tesa, Telisa, our hearts hurt for you. You are in our thoughts and prayers. For those that do not know them, they are a wonderful family, full of love and bright eyes and bushy tails. We absolutely adore these girls, and their family.
  • by H.P Location: Briceville, TN on Jun 29, 2007 at 11:58 AM
    I think everyone is losing site of what happened here...yes I agree that the road needs to be a 4 lane through there, but we lost two lives that day and that should be the only thing that matters right now. I went to school with Heather and you would have not found a better person; she will be terribly missed. I ask everyone to pray for all the familes involved on both tragedies.
  • by Carl Location: Knoxville on Jun 28, 2007 at 07:01 PM
    Maybe they were distracted by reading all the roadside signs. According to the billboard industry, 70 percent of drivers will glance at your sign and 60 percent will read it. The highest accident month in the US is October just before national election when campaign signs are littering the roadside. Furthermore, outside distractions (signs) causes more accident than cell phone use, .08 DWI, and eating while driving.
  • by Will and Jennifer Morrison Location: Oliversprings TN on Jun 28, 2007 at 01:03 AM
    Heather is the niece of my husband who is the brother of her father. Heather and Chris is all that he had left of Billy and he loved her like his own she was such a joy to have around her smile could brighten any day we love you baby girl and we will miss everyday of our lives. Please pray for the family we need your prayers and thoughts. Remmember them sweet babys that she left behind. In loving memory of Heather thank you all for your thoughts and prayer
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