Atkins was the only person injured in the three vehicle, 3:01 p.m. accident which occurred when an unidentified small, red car stopped in the left westbound lane of the Hwy. 52 By-pass attempting to turn left into the North Central Telephone driveway.
According to the THP accident report, a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, driven by a 17 year-old male juvenile, “was traveling west on Highway 52 east in the left lane and had stopped for a small red car that was stopped in the left lane attempting to turn left into the (NCTC) driveway.”
A Chevrolet Blazer, driven by Alaina Gregory, 18, Lafayette “struck the Jeep in the rear. The patrol car struck the Blazer in the rear. Both airbags deployed in the patrol car.”
Moderate damage only was sustained to the rear of the Jeep Cherokee, while the Blazer was damaged both in the front and rear, and the patrol car was heavily damaged and judged to be a total loss.
Terry Atkins, who serves as Resource Officer at Macon County High School, was released from Vanderbilt after treatment Friday night. Sheriff Mark Gammons said Monday that Atkins had sustained an injury to his wrist and brusing to his chest from his seatbelt shoulder strap.
Trooper Gerald Carter, Trooper Terry Seay, Lafayette Police and Macon County Sheriff's Department personnel assisted in the accident investigation and traffic control. THP investigating officer Sgt. William “Butch” Avera offered a special thank you to the witnesses, fire department and rescue squad personnel that remained at the scene providing information and assistance.
The accident occurred at the height of afternoon rush hour school traffic immediately following the dismissal of Friday classes. Two lanes of the four lane highway remained open as the wreck was investigated and the accident scene cleared. Some of the westbound traffic was temporarily diverted to the Old Red Boiling Springs Road to ease the highway congestion.