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Serious crash sends at least three to local hospitals

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
A serious rush-hour crash on Highway 19-E near the Valley Forge Bridge sent at least three people to local hospitals with unknown injuries and slowed traffic to a snail’s crawl on both sides of the busy highway.
The two vehicles involved were a gray Nissan Altima with West Virginia plates and a white Mazda pickup truck. Reports from a parent of a Hampton football player were that the driver of the Mazda was a member of the Hampton football team who was getting ready to play their first game of the season against Unicoi Co.
When informed of the accident, members of the team gathered for prayer over their teammate.
The Hampton Volunteer Fire Department along with the Carter County Rescue Squad were on hand as they worked to free the driver of the Altima after removing the car’s rooftop.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol had several officers on sight investigating the accident while members of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department helped with traffic control.
A large debris field covered both lanes of Highway 19-E as clean-up personnel was busy removing the largest pieces of debris by hand including a car battery and alternator.
Also, a dump truck with TDOT with a snowplow mounted to the front also arrived to help push the debris off the highway.
A resident that lives just off Highway 19-E stated he heard the crash and knew it was bad. He added that his greatest fear when work started on the bridge was that someone was going to be killed due to the way the highway was marked off.
An investigation is continuing into the crash.