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Community calls for highway changes after fatal accident | News

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Community calls for highway changes after fatal accident
News, Transportation
Community calls for highway changes after fatal accident

After an accident along Chapman Highway last weekend left two people dead and other injured, community members are calling for improvements along what they call a dangerous road.

On Sunday morning, the driver of a Chevy Blazer crossed the center line on Chapman Highway and hit a church van carrying 12 people head on. The van's driver, along with a passenger, were killed, and the 10 other passengers were transported to area hospitals.

The crash has now sparked a new round of complaints and concern about the safety of Chapman Highway.

"Its not the first time, and it wont be the last time," said Roger Flenniken, who lives and works along a stretch of the highway in Seymour.

"I've had politician [after] politician promise they'd do something about it, but as of right now, nobody does anything," he said.

Following Sunday's crash, Knox County-based EMT Karen Lunsford published a new online petition calling for change. Her petition calls for TDOT, Knox County, and Knoxville officials to redesign Chapman Highway.

In an email, Lunsford said:

"I'm a 20 year veteran with several East Tennessee emergency services, and I have seen first hand the dangers of the highway, and I travel that road with my children."


Lt. John Perry of the Seymour Fire Department, who also works as a firefighter in Knoxville, says it's one of the busiest areas for accidents.

"It's a four lane highway, and no barriers and no turn lane on most parts of it, especially going toward Sevierville. You've got a high potential for head on collisions, and there's a lot of embankments," he said, listing some of the dangers.

Flenniken says he hopes something is done soon.

"Before someone else gets killed on this highway."

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