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Accident kills one when car plunges into creek

A Rocky Top man was killed and at least one other person injured in a single-vehicle accident that occurred late Tuesday morning on Poplar Creek Road.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that 50-year-old Warner D. Martin of Rocky Top had been a passenger in the backseat of a 2006 Mazda sedan driven by 26-year-old Rebecca Louise Vanasse of Oak Ridge just after 11 am Tuesday when she swerved on the narrow and curvy road. She overcorrected, according to the THP report, causing the car to go over an embankment and into the muddy waters of Poplar Creek.

All three people inside the car were wearing seatbelts, according to the trooper’s report.

Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Vanasse was described as having been injured in the crash, but the extent of her injuries was not immediately available. She was taken into custody by Oak Ridge Police following the crash, however, on an outstanding probation violation and transported to the Anderson County Jail, where she remained in custody as of Thursday morning on a $5000 bond.

The front-seat passenger, 26-year-old Ethan James Alexander Wilson of Rocky Top may have been injured in the crash, but on the report, his injuries were described as “unknown.”

Troopers reported that Vanasse is not believed to have been drinking, but it was unclear if other intoxicants may have been involved, so blood tests have been ordered, as is standard procedure in fatal crashes.

No other vehicles were involved in Tuesday’s wreck.

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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2 comments

  1. That’s ashame. I fed him a couple weeks ago cause he said he was hungry. Drugs are no good, an killing alot of people. Rest warner.

    • Thank u very much 4 feeding him. He was a great friend of mine….. He n his sister n Ethan saved me when my little sister passed away a few years back!! I live in Kingston though n have no car, so U haven’t been able 2 c him in a while! He was a great guy!! N yes they REALLY r the worst! She just better pay I don’t find out she was on something the reason I lost him N ALMOST lost 1 of my best friends in the whole entire world!!

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