Tennessee Firefighter Struck at Accident Scene

A volunteer firefighter was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic near an accident scene on the Newport Highway on Sunday afternoon.

DeBusk Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Michael Wayne McKinney, 27, of Susong Memorial Road, was helping direct traffic at the intersection of the Newport Highway (U.S. Highway 321) and Warrensburg Road when he was struck by a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Dale Kite, 78, of Pelican Lane, Greeneville, firefighter said.

Trooper David Good, who investigated the 1:40 p.m. accident said Kite was pulling his truck from a stopped position on Warrensburg Road and failed to see McKinney, who was helping to direct traffic.

McKinney was taken by a Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance to Takoma Regional Hospital after the accident for treatment of what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, Trooper Good said.

Regie Jones, chief of the DeBusk VFD said McKinney was struck after he pushed fellow firefighter Jason Seaton to safety as the truck approached.

Jones said Seaton had been standing with his back to the approaching truck when McKinney pushed him to safety before being struck in both legs by the truck.

This morning, Chief Jones said McKinney was treated for two sprained ankles and released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

Earlier Accident

The accident in which McKinney was injured followed a 12:45 p.m. wreck in the 3400 block of the Newport Highway that had toppled a utility pole and caused the highway to be shut down.

DeBusk VFD firefighters were helping divert traffic onto Warrensburg Road from the Newport Highway as a result of the earlier accident when McKinney was injured, firefighters said.

The first accident was investigated by Deputy Sheriff Michael Jones.

His report said the crash involved a 1989 Toyota pickup truck that was being driven south on the Newport Highway near Kesterson Street by Stephanie Greene, 36, of the Newport Highway.

The Sheriff's Department accident report said Greene told Deputy Jones that she apparently fell asleep at the wheel of the pickup truck, then went off the left side of the road and struck a utility pole head-on.

Greene was taken by a Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services ambulance to Laughlin Memorial Hospital for treatment of what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to the accident report.

A hospital spokesman said Greene was treated and released.

Newport Highway was blocked for more than an hour while the wreckage was cleared and Greeneville Light & Power System crews replaced the broken utility pole, officers said.

Republished with permission from The Greeneville Sun

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