Virginia man seriously injured in Townsend crash
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A 19-year-old Virginia man was seriously injured in an accident on Little River Road in Townsend Saturday afternoon and was flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn said the man was an occupant in a pickup truck traveling east on Little River Road when the vehicle apparently left the road and struck a tree on the truck’s passenger side. The accident happened at around 2:30 p.m. about a half mile west of the Sinks, Soehn said.
She said it was not immediately clear why the truck traveled off the roadway.
The injured occupant was riding in the front right passenger side where the vehicle made contact with the tree. The male driver and another male occupant were not injured. While the other two occupants’ ages were not immediately known, Park Rangers indicated they were about the same age as the injured 19-year-old from Coeburn, Va.
A landing zone for a Lifestar helicopter was established on Highway 73 near the Sundown Resort, located in the 8500 block of the highway. The Townsend Police and Fire departments assisted in setting up the landing zone area. Lifestar landed in a grassy area off the roadway, said Townsend Police Chief Ron Suttles, and the road did not have to be closed until the patient was loaded into the helicopter and lifted up en route to UT Medical Center. The highway was closed momentarily for transport before being reopened for traffic, Suttles said.
Soehn said Little River Road from Metcalf Bottoms to the Sinks was closed down for more than two hours as emergency personnel cleared the crash scene.