A pair of four-wheeler riders were airlifted to Erlanger following separate all-terrain vehicle accidents Saturday.
One of those, Steven Ray Wimberly, 33, of Readyville, will be facing drunk driving charges when he gets out of the hospital.
Wimberly crashed his Suzuki QuadRacer at the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Viola Highway (Highway 108) late Saturday afternoon.
“He was heading northbound on Mt. Zion near the intersection with Highway 108 when he crested a hill and lost control,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Billy Prater. “He then went off the right side of the road when his ATV proceeded to roll over.”
Wimberly was thrown clear of the wreckage and was reportedly found lying in the road. He was airlifted from the scene by LifeForce helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
An investigation of the wreck revealed Wimberly was out riding with a group of friends when he became separated from the group. It is suspected he was trying to find his friends when he came up on the crest of the hill and was caught by surprise by the main highway in front of him. Investigators believe Wimberly was under the influence at the time of the crash. He was not wearing a helmet.
“With the warm weather a lot of people are breaking out their four-wheelers,” Prater said. “Folks need to remember it is not permissible to ride ATVs on public roads, plus you need to wear a helmet for safety sake. And, under no circumstances, should you ever drink and drive any vehicle, even a four-wheeler.”
The Wimberly wreck happened just as emergency responders were aiding in a four-wheeler wreck near the intersection of Vervilla Road and Ingle Boulevard.
According to sheriff’s department reports, Jimmy Leon Slatton, 62, was riding his Polaris ATV when he flipped over while trying to turn into a pasture from the road. Slatton was airlifted from the scene to Erlanger.