Father and son severely injured in single-vehicle crash

By | March 31, 2011 12:00 am

Team effort. Emergency responders with Cherry Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Sparta-White County Rescue Squad and White County Emergency Medical Services assist medical personnel with Erlanger’s Life Force Medical Services to carry Ralph Todd Cunningham to the waiting helicopter.

Severe damage. This Dodge truck was heavily damaged and its occupants seriously injured in a single vehicle crash on Charles Hennessee Road, on Mar. 29. Two medical helicopters were brought in to take a father and son to emergency care in Nashville.

Quick response. Personnel with White County Emergency Medical Services arrived quickly to the scene and used their training and experience to stabilize the two occupants of the truck (at left), which stuck a large pine tree at the intersection of Charles Hennessee Road and Findlay Subdivision Road.

Ralph Todd Cunningham, 36, of White County, and his 6-year-old son are reportedly listed in critical condition after being involved in a single-vehicle crash, on Mar. 29, near the intersection of Charles Hennessee Road and Findlay Subdivision Road.
According to Sgt. Jimmy Jones with Tennessee Highway Patrol, Cunningham was traveling south on Charles Hennessee Road, at approximately 12:40 p.m., in a red 2001 Dodge D-15 extended cab, owned by his parents, Lester and Barbara Cunningham.
Jones stated, as Cunningham attempted to negotiate a slight curve to the left, the vehicle’s tires dropped off the right edge of the roadway.
The vehicle reportedly slid sideways in the ditch before striking a mailbox with its the right rear quarter panel.
Jones said Cunningham was able to straighten the vehicle, but the vehicle crossed the road and struck a tree.
He stated the impact caused Cunningham, who was not wearing a seatbelt, to be partially ejected through the windshield.
Both Cunningham and his son, who was strapped in a booster seat behind the driver’s seat, suffered severe injuries.
Cunningham was transported from the scene by Life Force medical helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The 6-year-old male was transported by personnel with White County Emergency Medical Services to White County Community Hospital, where he was ‘hot loaded’ into a Life Flight medical helicopter and taken to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Jones stated the incident is still under investigation, but excessive speed appears to be a contributing factor.

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