Serious injury was avoided Wednesday afternoon when two vehicles collided – and one flipped – near Angels Bridge.
The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of West Main Street and the merge from Highway 70S.
Cynthia Easley, 63, is to blame, according to McMinnville Police Lt. Mark Mara. The Georgia resident was driving a 2018 Kia Rio and attempted to access Nashville Highway West from the bypass on her way to Murfreesboro.
“When you take the off ramp from the bypass, you can stay to the right and merge onto Nashville Highway and go outbound or you can go to the left and at the stop sign, take another left and you are on West Main Street going inbound toward downtown McMinnville. I’m not sure why she did it, but instead of staying right and merging onto Nashville Highway, she took a left. She said she was on her way to Murfreesboro so she should have stayed to the right.”
Taking a wrong turn did not cause the wreck, but running a stop sign did.
“At the intersection of the off-ramp and West Main Street, there’s a stop sign,” said Mara. “She said she didn’t see the stop sign or the truck. She pulled into the path of a 1993 Ford F150 driven by Jeff Mast. She was very honest in saying that she just didn’t see either the stop sign or the truck.”
Mast, a 71-year-old Warren County resident, was hauling a load of firewood in the back of his pickup. The T-bone collision caused his vehicle to spin and flip twice. Firewood was tossed through the air, some crashing through the windows of Easley’s vehicle. His vehicle came to rest in the median area between the lanes.
Neither driver appeared to have life-threatening injuries. Easley was transported by Warren County EMS to Saint Thomas River Park Hospital. Mast voiced his intention to be driven to the hospital by a family member.
“Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts so both were able to get out of their vehicles and walk away from this. It helps to be wearing your seatbelt,” said Mara. “McMinnville Crash Team helped out with this investigation. Team members helped in taking photographs and getting statements from the witnesses.”
Easley was cited for running a stop sign.