Christmas Night Crash Claims One And Injures Three Others

December 26, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 20 year old man lost his life and three others were injured in a Christmas night crash on Highway 56 south at Pine Creek bridge.

Dead is Juan Garcia of Smithville.

Trooper Greg Tramel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Garcia was driving north on Highway 56 in a 1990 Honda Accord when he crossed the center line of the road into the path of a southbound 1993 Chevy tow truck, driven by 32 year old Jamie L. Harris of Lebanon. Harris was towing a 1995 Chevy Blazer.

Harris and his wife, 32 year old Stephanie Harris of Lebanon received minor injuries in the crash and were taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

18 year old David Ortiz of Smithville, a passenger of Garcia's vehicle, was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. He was later transported by ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville with a broken arm, broken leg, and other injuries.

Trooper Tramel says all four people were wearing their seatbelts.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were called to the scene to perform extrication services. Others rendering assistance were members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, including the Keltonburg Fire Station, First Responders, DeKalb EMS, officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The crash caused a traffic tie up for more than three hours. Most motorists were re-routed during the investigation and clean-up.

Garcia's death marks the fifth traffic fatality on DeKalb County roads this year.

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