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UPDATE: Church Hill crash now a double fatality

Jeff Bobo • Updated Aug 28, 2019 at 12:13 PM

UPDATE: The Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed Wednesday morning that both occupants of the 2005 Dodge Stratus are now deceased. The  driver was June Bruner, 85, of Mount Carmel, andher passenger was Clair Bruner, 62, Mount Carmel.

The driver and lone occupant of the truck, Andrew Gilreath, 54, Church Hill, was injured, and his condition wasn’t reported as of Tuesday evening although police said his injuries weren’t life-threatening.

CHURCH HILL — Two people were critically injured Tuesday afternoon when a four-door Dodge Stratus reportedly pulled out onto Highway 11-W into the path of an oncoming truck.

The crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m. at the busy Richmond Street intersection near First Community Bank and Pal’s.

The passenger of the Stratus was flown from the scene via helicopter rescue, and the driver was transported by Hawkins County EMS.

An eyewitness, Stacy Whitaker of Jefferson County, was at the intersection beside the Stratus when the accident occurred.

Whitaker told the Times News at the scene he was waiting to turn west from Richmond Street onto 11-W, and the Dodge was attempting to cross the westbound traffic and turn east.

The Stratus pulled out in front of the westbound box truck, resulting in a T-bone collision with the Dodge driver’s side door, Whitaker said.

“I don’t know if they just didn’t see the truck, but they pulled right out in front of it,” Whitaker said. “The truck never even had a chance to touch his brakes. It was that close.”

The truck came to rest near the Garland Avenue intersection near the west entrance of the Church Hill Shopping Plaza.

Church Hill Police Department Chief Chad Mosely told the Times News at the scene that both occupants of the Dodge were critically injured. The driver of the box truck suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance as well.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to investigate the crash.

Other agencies responding to the crash included the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Carmel Police Department, Church Hill Rescue Squad, Church Hill Fire Department, Wings Air Rescue, and Hawkins County EMS.

The release of the identities of those involved in the crash was pending completion of the THP preliminary report.

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