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Kingsport man, 80, cited after rollover crash on Hammond Bridge

Staff Report • Jan 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

An elderly driver has been cited for failure to yield after a rollover crash on Hammond Bridge in Kingsport.

Charles E. Vermillion, 80, Kingsport, was injured after his Ford pickup rolled onto its top after an 11 a.m. collision with a delivery van, according to Kingsport Police.

The wreck occurred as Vermillion attempted to pass Gerald E. McCracken, 41, Kingsport, as they entered the bridge on Fort Henry Drive, according to Officer Dale Farmer.

McCracken, who was driving in the left lane, had slowed for the bridge. Vermillion, in the other lane, was passing by the van when he attempted to get over, Farmer said.

The pickup clipped the front of the van, spun around and landed on its top on the bridge railing then slid off and came to rest on its top on the road.

Vermillion hung upside down in the cab until rescue personnel arrived to get him out safely, Farmer said.

Vermillion was "very lucky," Farmer said. If he'd been going faster, the pickup would probably have rolled on off the railing instead of coming back down on the bridge, he said.

Both men were wearing seatbelts and received minor injuries.

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