Investigators search for witnesses on fatal Hwy 153 crash - WSMV Channel 4

Investigators search for witnesses on fatal Hwy 153 crash

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Traffic was backed up for several hours Tuesday after an accident closed part of SR-153. Traffic was backed up for several hours Tuesday after an accident closed part of SR-153.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Chattanooga crash scene investigators need witnesses to come forward as they try to piece together what caused a deadly crash on Highway 153. Five people were hurt, including one woman who lost her life.

The accident happened around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Grubb Road and Highway 153. The first accident witness came forward to police Wednesday, but investigators say they still need more to explain what they saw happen. Channel 3 talked to that witness off camera. He tells us a black car was turning left off Grubb Road onto Hwy 153 without a signal, but a van ran the Hwy 153 red light and the cars collided.

"It bothered me a lot because I just had left that red light and it could've been me and my son in that accident," Curtishia Griffis said.

Curtishia Griffis drove up on the scene shortly after the crash happened during the Tuesday morning commute.

"By the way the impact was you could tell they hit real hard," Griffis said.
 
She says the scary sight has stuck with her and she's been praying the people involved would pull through. We now know van passenger 69-year-old Mary Hickman has passed away. The car's driver is in critical condition. Three others were also hurt.

"That was just real sad that happened. I hate somebody had to lose their life," she said.

She lives near Highway 153 where wrecks are a common sight.

"It's dangerous out this way," Griffis said.

Another woman was killed in crash along Hwy 153 last weekend. Wednesday afternoon, there was another wreck not even half a mile north. A motorcyclist collided with two cars. He was hurt but is expected to be ok.

"Between THP and the City of Chattanooga, we works crashed out here on 153 because it's such a busy highway," THP Lt. Christie Phillips said.

Officers hope the message will finally sink in for drivers to be more careful on this stretch of highway.

"I think it's the speed. I think it's the congestion. I think it's people not paying attention," Lt. Phillips said.

"It's crazy. They drive like a bat out of hell, just flying and they run the red light," Griffis said.

Despite the heavy traffic, no eyewitnesses stuck around after Tuesday morning's deadly crash to describe to investigators how it happened.

Again, if you witnessed this crash, you're asked to contact the Chattanooga Police Department at 423-698-2525.

The family of crash victim Mary Hickman says they also hope witnesses come forward, so they can get some closure.

Chattanooga Police records show the city's had 16 overall traffic deaths this year so far.


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