A teen driver was killed and her two passengers were injured Monday afternoon when their vehicle struck a utility pole on Short Mountain Road.
The driver, Ashley Celestino, 19, died at River Park Hospital two hours after the accident that happened around 4 p.m. Monday. Her back-seat passenger, Megan Braswell, 19, was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center from Morrison Fire Hall with non-debilitating injuries. Her front-seat passenger, Tristian Darna, 19, suffered minor cuts.
According to deputy Joseph VanBommel, the accident happened during a brief thunderstorm Monday afternoon as Celestino was heading northbound in her Nissan Xterra near Short Mountain Road’s intersection with Patterson Road. Her front-seat passenger, who was able to talk to the deputy after the crash, said Celestino lost control as they were coming around a curve.
The vehicle ran off the roadway and hit a utility pole, the head-on impact splintering the wooden pole bottom to top. The yellow Xterra came to rest in the middle of the road.
“It appeared Ms. Celestino was not wearing her seatbelt and that the driver-side airbag did not deploy,” VanBommel said in his report, noting he does not believe Braswell was wearing her seatbelt either.
Video coverage from the accident scene is available in the multimedia section of the Southern Standard website www.southernstandard.com.