Sullivan County officer suffers minor injuries in five-car pileup in Kingsport

Jeff Bobo • Mar 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Police officers and witnesses look over the scene of a multicar wreck on Lynn Garden Drive early Sunday afternoon. Jeff Bobo photo.


KINGSPORT — A chain reaction wreck Sunday on Lynn Garden Drive involved five vehicles and 13 people, but resulted in only one person being transported to the hospital.

The accident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. as a long line of cars — mainly churchgoers on their way home from morning services — was stopped in the southbound right lane at the Tranbarger Drive intersection.

The line of traffic stopped at the red light was so long that the front car of the five involved in the wreck was about 50 yards from the intersection near the first entrance to the Dollar General store parking lot.

“It looks like the front three cars were stopped, the fourth vehicle was coming to a stop, and the fifth vehicle, a van, hit the rear of the fourth car causing everybody else to hit,” said Kingsport Police Department Officer John Pennington.

The fourth vehicle that was rear-ended by the van was an unmarked Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office vehicle driven by Maj. Earl Smith, 58.

Smith was the only person involved in the wreck who was transported to the hospital. He was treated for a minor head injury at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center and released.

The van, which was the most heavily damaged of the vehicles involved, contained five occupants, most of whom were youths. Van occupants told the Times-News at the scene they were on their way to an outing at the movies after church when the accident occurred.

Pennington said Sunday afternoon that the accident was still under investigation and he didn’t know yet if any citations would be issued.

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