By John B. Carpenter
Lori Overton, 43, of Spring City, was headed southbound in her 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck on Watts Bar Highway Saturday at about 3:40 p.m. Overton’s 6-year-old daughter was seated beside her in a secured booster seat.
Michael Allen Garrison, 28, also of Spring City was driving an Isuzu pickup truck north on Watts Bar Highway towing a large, double-axle trailer, about 16-18 feet long. The empty trailer’s tongue came off the truck’s ball hitch, and the trailer, which was not secured by safety chains, crossed the center line and crashed into Overton’s truck, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Phillip Dunn.
The trailer’s tongue penetrated the driver’s side of Overton’s truck and badly damaged her right leg. Her truck came to rest against the guardrail, with the trailer in the middle of the road.
Garrison stopped his pickup, got out and checked the damage, then got back in his truck and drove away, Dunn said.
Neither Garrison, nor his passenger, Jennifer McCampbell, 22, of Spring City, was injured in the crash.
Overton and her daughter were both transported by LifeForce medical helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga where surgeons were forced to remove part of Overton’s right leg. She was in serious but stable condition Monday, and her daughter was scheduled to be released after receiving treatment for minor injuries, Dunn said.
Garrison turned himself in at the Rhea County Jail Sunday evening. Dunn arrested him and charged him with driving on a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. Garrison’s arraignment was scheduled for March 30, and he was released from the Rhea County Jail on a $13,000 bond.
John Carpenter can be reached at email@example.com.