The accident occurred at 7:15 a.m. near the Big Springs Road intersection as Randall Gene Ward, 41, 752 Vista Drive, Rogersville, attempted to pull a 2006 Honda Civic into the northbound lane of Route 66 from a business parking lot.
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Billy Collier, Ward’s vehicle pulled into the path of a southbound 1997 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Richard Albert Jakob, 31, 1328 McKinney Chapel Road, Rogersville.
Collier said the Crown Victoria stuck Ward’s Honda on the driver’s side door. Ward was not wearing a seat belt, but Collier said in this case the impact was so great that the belt probably wouldn’t have saved his life.
“It was in a 55 mph zone, and it hit him just right smack in the driver’s side door,” Collier said. “It seems apparent that the driver of the Crown Victoria never saw him until he hit him. Weather or fog weren’t a contributing factor. There are no charges pending.”
Jakob was wearing his seat belt, his airbag deployed, and he wasn’t injured.
Collier said he doesn’t suspect that alcohol played a role in the accident, although there was an alcohol container in Ward’s car that busted in the wreck and spilled throughout the vehicle. Ward’s fiancée told the trooper the alcohol had been left in the car unopened since New Year’s Eve.
As a matter of procedure, blood samples were taken from Ward and Jakob for a toxicology test at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lab.
Ward worked at HDK Industries for At Work Personnel Services, 3825 Route 66, Rogersville, and that was the parking lot he was attempting to pull out of when the wreck occurred. Ward’s fiancée told the trooper he often stopped at the At Work office to turn in his time card.
The drivers of each vehicle were the lone occupants. Collier said the Hawkins County Rescue Squad and Hawkins County EMS were the primary emergency responders.
“He was not pronounced dead at the scene,” Collier said. “Hawkins County EMS did work on him before transporting him to the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital emergency room, where he was pronounced dead.”
THP Trooper Erick Gordon investigated the accident, and Collier assisted.