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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