A 34-year-old local man lost his life Sunday night in Van Buren County when he triggered a head-on collision on Highway 111.
Don E. Baker of McMinnville was killed in the crash. He was the lone occupant of his pickup.
The vehicle Baker hit contained five people all under the age of 23, including a 1-year-old. They all five suffered injuries, according to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Three of them were airlifted.
According to the Highway Patrol, Baker was traveling down the mountain from Spencer to Sparta on Sunday around 7:45 p.m. when he passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone. After making the pass, Baker reportedly did not return to his lane. He then struck a Ford F250 pickup loaded with five people head-on. The wreck took place in a construction zone.
The Highway Patrol says alcohol was found in both vehicles.
Baker, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was reportedly killed at the scene.
Katelyn M. Decker, 22, of Jasper was driving the other pickup. She and front-seat passenger Chance R. Ledford, 21, of Tracy City, were reportedly transported to a nearby hospital via ambulance.
The three who were airlifted include Eddie K. Dyer, 19, of Cookeville, who was also a front-seat passenger, and two juveniles, ages 17 and 1, who are both from Cookeville and were not identified. They were in the back seat.
The 1-year-old boy was properly restrained in a child safety seat. No one else in the pickup was wearing a seatbelt.
The Highway Patrol says criminal charges are pending.