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Four injured as SUV goes airborne
Centertown wreck.jpg
This vehicle went airborne Thursday morning on New Nashville Highway, injuring four.

A crash injured four Thursday morning on New Nashville Highway after the vehicle went airborne.

State trooper Joseph VanBommel says a barrier meant to prevent a wayward vehicle from plummeting down a ravine caused this one to go airborne.

“The vehicle was traveling inbound when it left the roadway,” said VanBommel. “It entered the center median, traveled between the guardrails of a bridge and struck a dirt embankment. The vehicle then went airborne and landed on the bridge. It didn’t flip or roll, but it did land on its passenger side.”

The driver of the Ford Explorer was identified as Robert Cook III, 42, of Rock Island. His front-seat passenger was Brianna Phillips, 24. Back-seat passengers were Tyler Stembridge, 26, and Caitlin Clouse, 19.

When asked about the barriers, VanBommel stated, “They’re placed to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway and plummeting into the river below. In this situation, the vehicle flipped on the bridge.”

The 6 a.m. wreck, which occurred in the area of West Green Hill Road, is being attributed to drowsy driving. 

“It appears the driver fell asleep,” said VanBommel.

Clouse was transported to Warren County Memorial Airport by Warren County EMS and flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center. Phillips was taken to Saint Thomas River Park and later flown to Vanderbilt. Cook and Stembridge were being treated at Saint Thomas River Park. 

While their exact medical conditions are unknown, no injuries are believed to be life-threatening.