SR 61 scene of two tragedies last week

Two accidents — one resulting in a death — took place on SR 61 in Anderson County Wednesday, May 2.

The first occurred at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning near the roadway’s intersection with Bethel Road. The first accident sent four people — three minors — to area hospitals.

The 17-year-old driver of a Mazda 4000 was heading west on SR 61 when the driver crossed the center line, a report by the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

The driver was not able to correct in time and hit an eastbound 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Tara Bales, 31, Clinton, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Bales and two passengers in the Tahoe, a seven-year-old and a one-year-old, were taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville with serious and minor injuries.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is still investigating. No charges or citations have been filed. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, the report said, and the two children were in proper CRD-rear facing car seats.

The second accident of SR 61 occurred SR 61 (Oliver Springs Highway) in Marlow near the intersection of Old Batley Road.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol report stated 75-year-old Curtis Byrge, Clinton, was walking beside the roadway when “turned to walk south across” SR 61, directly in front of a Ford truck driven by George Davis, 62, Harriman.

The accidents happened at 10 a.m. Wednesday. There is no reason given for Byrge crossing the roadway.

Anderson County EMS transported Byrge to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge where he died.

Davis attempted to stop and/or swerve but was unable to do so. THP’s reports stated Davis was wearing a seatbelt. No alcohol or drugs are listed as having an effect on the accident, but as standard procedure in a fatality tests were requested.

No citations were issued and no criminal charges will be filed, the report said.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Marlow Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.