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Two airlifted after head-on crash
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Two people were airlifted Friday night following a head-on crash on Moose Lodge Hill.
The victims, Carlos Sanchez, 25, and Alejandro Garcia, 19, were both airlifted by LifeForce helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
According to highway patrolman Donnie Clark, the accident happened just before 8 p.m. Friday on Smithville Highway just north of the city limits.
A preliminary investigation reveals Jimmy Cantrell was heading northbound (away from town) in his 1995 GMC pickup pulling a goose-neck trailer loaded with some farm equipment. The Cantrell vehicle was heading downhill when he came upon traffic in his lane stopped trying to make a left turn into the Moose Lodge parking lot.
Unable to stop in time to avoid striking the turning vehicles, Cantrell steered his truck into the oncoming lane of traffic, slamming head on into the Sanchez pickup which was traveling up the hill in the southbound lane. Cantrell sustained non-critical injuries.
Investigators say charges are pending.
“I suspect he didn’t take into account the weight of the trailer behind his pickup as he was traveling down the hill,” Clark said, noting the heavy load meant it would take longer for him to stop. “The Cantrell vehicle left 152 feet of skid marks.”