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Lane change blamed in rear-end collision
sparta highway wreck1.jpg
A motor vehicle crash Wednesday on Sparta Highway is being attributed to an unsafe lane change. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Two out-of-town motorists visiting relatives in Warren County collided Wednesday on Sparta Highway.

According to state trooper Ben Cannon, the two vehicles were heading outbound in separate lanes when one abruptly switched lanes and was struck from behind. 

“A white Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Samuel Derrick Sparkman, 36, of Knoxville, was in the left-hand lane,” said Cannon. “A red Nissan pickup driven by Donnie Cantrell, 64, of Smithville, was in the right lane. Mr. Cantrell was going to merge into the left lane and get into the crossover and make a turn. He was struck from behind by Mr. Sparkman.”

A crossover is an area where motorists can cross a divided highway. This one is located in front of McGregor Road. 

In most rear-end motor vehicle accidents, the rear driver is held at fault. Not always. 

“When Mr. Cantrell pulled into the left lane, he failed to observe the vehicle coming from behind him causing Mr. Sparkman to rear end him,” said Cannon. “The wreck was caused by failure to observe a vehicle from the rear. That’s how I’m working it.”

The impact caused Mr. Cantrell to leave the roadway and strike a directional sign located in the grassy area at the crossover. His passenger was evaluated at the scene by Warren County EMS and declined transport.

Both drivers, who were uninjured, said they are originally from Warren County and were visiting relatives.