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Elderly Hawkins couple injured when SUV veers into wrong lane of 11-W

Jeff Bobo • Mar 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — An elderly Surgoinsville couple suffered serious injuries Monday morning when their SUV left the roadway on Main Stree and came out in the westbound lane of Highway 11-W, striking an oncoming vehicle.

Bobby J. Cloud, 79, and his wife, Jenetta, 74, were both listed in serious condition as of Monday evening at Holston Valley Medical Center.

The wreck occurred shortly before 10 a.m on the far east end of Mount Carmel near the Kaywood Avenue intersection.

Mount Carmel Police Department Assistant Chief George Copas said Mr. Cloud had just pulled out of the Farm Bureau Insurance office on East Main Street driving a 2008 Jeep Liberty eastbound.

The Jeep suddenly veered off the roadway toward Highway 11-W, which runs parallel to Main Street, Copas said.

“That one section where they veered off Main Street is only slightly sloped where it goes down toward 11-W, but the ditch line has a good rise before you get to the highway,” Copas said. “The vehicle jumped back out of the ditch and landed in the westbound lanes of 11-W and was very unstable when it landed. The oncoming vehicle didn’t hit it hard, but with the Jeep in this unstable condition, it was enough to spin the Jeep around and knock it over on its side.”

The Jeep reportedly flew into the path of a 2012 Nissan Rouge driven by Rebecca P. White, 55, of Church Hill. White wasn’t injured, and her vehicle was only slightly damaged and was driven away.

The Mount Carmel Fire Department responded to the scene along with Hawkins County EMS and the Church Hill Rescue Squad.

Emergency responders had to cut the roof off the Jeep while it was still on its side to extricate the Clouds.

Both were wearing seat belts, which had to be cut to remove the couple from the vehicle.

Their injuries probably involved broken bones, Copas said.

Had the couple not been wearing seat belts, the result of the crash would have been much worse, Copas added.

As of Monday evening, police hadn’t been able to speak with the Clouds, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.                                                                            

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