Chapman Highway crash claims grandmother, granddaughter

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 11:08 PM

A grandmother and granddaughter lost their lives in a Thursday morning wreck on Chapman Highway. An initial report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol gave an incorrect birth date for 16-year-old Caitlyn Coates, who was junior at Seymour High School.

The THP report indicates Coates was driving and her grandmother, 56-year-old Robin Miller, was riding with her when they pulled out from Tittsworth Springs Road onto Chapman Highway at about 7:40 a.m.

A second driver, 38-year-old Joey Mannon, also of Seymour, was driving south on the highway and apparently ran the red light at the intersection, causing him to strike Coates’s car on the driver’s side door, according to THP. Mannon was cited for disregarding the traffic light, and could face additional charges. He was transported to a local hospital due to injuries suffered in the wreck.

Miller and Coates died at the scene.

Coates was a dual enrollment student at Walters State and Seymour High School. She was on her way to take an exam at Walter State Community College.

She had hoped to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Crystal, by working in medicine, and had been attending classes at Walters State while still in high school to get a head start on that plan, according to Jannette Cox, an executive aide at Walters State who knew both mother and daughter.

Sevier County Schools provided grief counselors at Seymour High School after learning of the wreck, spokesperson Debra Cline said.

“The student body, faculty and staff are greatly saddened by the loss of Caitlyn,” Cline said.

“I did not personally know her, but from what (Seymour High School Principal Kristy Wallen) told me, she was a great young lady with a lot of accomplishments ... Just a sweet young lady that everyone will miss.”

Caitlyn Coates's survivors include her parents, James and Crystal Coates.

The family will receive friends from 2 until 4 p.m. Saturday at Atchley Funeral Home in Seymour. In lieu of flowers, memorials to benefit the family can made to Atchley Funeral Home.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com