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ORT: Woman faces charges in fatal January crash

Our partners at Oak Ridge Today report that the driver of a car involved in a fatal motorcycle accident earlier this year is facing three traffic violations in connection to the crash.

44-year-old Rufus E. Shephard III of Oak Ridge was killed in the January 31st accident on North Illinois Avenue near the Kroger Shopping Center.

Oak Ridge Police say that 29-year-old Noelle Patty of Oak Ridge was driving a Cadillac STS at around 5:30 pm that day when she disregarded a traffic control signal indicating “right turns only” by turning left on to an access road from the shopping center and heading south. Investigators say that put her in the path of Shephard, who had been riding a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle north on North Illinois. The impact threw Shephard off the bike and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Patty is facing misdemeanor charges of failure to yield right of way, resulting in death; failure to obey a traffic signal device and failure to provide proof of financial responsibility. Following a hearing Wednesday in General Sessions Court, Patty was provided a public defender and released on the citations. She is due back in court on June 9th.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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