Woman who died in Tomato Head wreck identified as Deborah Thompson of Crossville

By: Hunter Nark Email
By: Hunter Nark Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Deborah Thompson,59, died when a car crashed into two West Knoxville businesses at 7240 Kingston Pike Thursday afternoon.

Police said Dewayne Edward Kelley, 53, of Lennox View Way, crashed his sedan into the Tomato Head Restaurant before coming to rest inside Wild Birds Unlimited next door.

"He jumped the curb and then jumped the patio and knocked one of the pillars down," said Chelsea Jones who works at a nearby salon.

Another salon employee, Amanda Fuller said, "It didn't hit the shrubs or anything it just ramped over the curb and went through the bakery of the Tomato Head and then went through the bird store."

Workers at the salon ran to help. "Beth that I talked to first said she helped the guy get out of the car and he said he got his foot stuck on the gas pedal," said Jones.

The car hit a woman paying her bill at the restaurant checkout, according to police. She was pronounced dead at UT Medical Center.

"Somebody was just out here shopping, it could have been somebody's birthday or something and get hit by a car, you don't ever know what happens, so it's definitely an eye-opener," said Fuller.

Police said the man driving the car was taken to UT Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

According to investigators, the vehicle, a 2013 Chrysler 300, was towed to the Knoxville Police Department and will be inspected as part of the ongoing investigation. A blood sample was taken from the driver of the vehicle as required by Tennessee State law. Alcohol use is not suspected at this time.


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