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Donut blamed after SUV snaps utility pole
viola rd wreck 1
Duane Sherrill photo A lineman works to restore power to 28 residents who lost power following a Monday morning wreck on Viola Road.

Three people escaped serious injury Monday morning when an SUV struck and splintered a utility pole on Viola Road, the wreck caused by a bald spare tire on the vehicle.

The driver, Ayla Keller, and passenger, Michael Newby, were treated at Saint Thomas River Park Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. A young child was not transported by ambulance.

The crash happened just inside the city limits on Viola Road near the entrance to Mountain Green subdivision. According to highway patrolman Brent Collier, Keller was rounding a curve, heading toward town, in her 2005 Chrysler SUV when she lost control.

The vehicle ran into a ditch, prompting her to overcorrect and cross the highway. The SUV then slammed head-on into a utility pole, splintering it before continuing down the ditch line where it came to rest.

The trooper said an examination of the spare tire the van was using showed it was worn and likely contributed to her losing control in the curve.

“The donut couldn’t handle the curve,” trooper Collier said. “Donut tires are meant to be used temporarily, not as a permanent fix.”