3 killed and 4 injured in crash

by | November 9, 2017 8:42 am

Emergency responders worked diligently during a recent multi-casualty single-vehicle collision on Highway 111. (Photo by BOBBY MCCULLEY)

A fatal accident, on Sunday, took the lives of three and critically injured four others in a single vehicle crash, on Highway 111, near the Baker Mountain Road exit in Spencer.

On Nov. 5, 2017, at approximately 10:23 a.m., dispatchers with the Van Buren County E-911 Emergency Communications Center received a notification about possible crash on Highway 111. The incident occurred approximately two miles south of the Baker Mountain Road exit, and initial reports stated that a single vehicle rolled multiple times, ejecting numerous passengers.

Firefighters from Piney and Cedar Grove volunteer fire departments, along with the Van Buren County Sheriff Department, Van Buren County Emergency Medical Service, Spencer Police Department, and Tennessee Highway Patrol, were all dispatched to the scene.

Upon arrival, emergency responders discovered a Mercury Mountaineer SUV had rolled over onto its roof and came to a rest in the emergency shoulder of the Highway 111 southbound lanes. First responders worked quickly to render aid to the multiple individuals who were involved in the crash.

Emergency responders closed both the southbound and the northbound lanes, on Highway 111, to secure the scene and to establish landing zones. Multiple emergency medical service helicopters were dispatched to the scene.

There were a total of seven individuals involved in this single vehicle crash. A total of four individuals were transported by helicopter to area trauma centers for critical injuries, while three individuals were pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was in charge of the investigation. The THP Critical Incident Response Team, THP Capt. R.C Christian, and THP Lt. Reaker Bass all responded to the scene.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol incident report filed by Trooper Kevin Ballew, the Mercury Mountaineer was traveling in the left northbound lane, on Highway 111. The vehicle suddenly left the roadway and crossed the median, which resulted in the vehicle rolling approximately four times.

After rolling approximately four times, the Mercury Mountaineer came to a rest on its roof in the southbound lane’s emergency shoulder, according to the report. One individual, the driver, was trapped inside the vehicle, while the other six passengers were ejected.

The individuals were all from Monticello, Kentucky, according to the THP report. Reports have stated that those involved in the crash were returning from Georgia back to their home in Kentucky.

The three fatalities were the driver, 33-year-old Josefa Mateo Gomez, an 11-year-old male juvenile, and 18-year-old Emily Mateo. Gaspar Gomez, 34; Lesly Francisco Mateo, 19; a 14-year-old male; and a 17-year-old male were all transported to area trauma centers.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol incident report, out of the seven individuals involved in the incident, only the driver, Joesfa Gomez, was wearing her seatbelt. The conditions of those airlifted from the scene were unavailable as of press time.

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