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News
Police say driver in fatal Chapman wreck had meth in system
  • Updated

SEVIERVILLE — A Gatlinburg woman had meth in her bloodstream when she was involved in a single-car wreck that took the life of her passenger, according to a THP report.

A Sevier County Grand Jury returned an indictment last month charging 40-year-old Amanda Karol Bright with vehicular homicide as well as DUI, reckless endangerment, failure to exercise due care, driving left of center, and driving on a suspended license.

The indictments charging Bright with the crime only indicated that she was involved in an accident that took the life of 66-year-old Ulra Winford McCollum on Sept. 26.

But the THP accident report, released after a records request by The Mountain Press, shows there was meth in McCollum’s blood when samples were drawn after the wreck.

Bright was driving north on Chapman Highway at about 10:35 a.m. Sept. 26 when she crossed into the southbound lanes and left the road, going down an embankment and striking a tree, according to the report.

Both she and McCollum were injured and taken to UT Medical Center, where McCollum was eventually pronounced dead.

Bright was released from the Sevier County Jail after posting $100,000 bond.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress


News
Northview Primary get creative with recycling
  • Updated

KODAK

Northview Primary students found a way to make recyclable materials into creative fashion, from superhero garb to a party dress.

“We just came up with this last year as a way to celebrate Earth Day and teach our kids about reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Andrea Burnette, a second grade teacher at the school.

“This is a way to get the parents and kids to spend time together and make it a memorable experience.”

The project was inspired by the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) team.

The children jumped right into making crazy creations. One child was a trash ninja, while another was Vac, a super fun action hero.

“It is super awesome to see them, especially the ones who had ideas last year and they saw how they could make it better this year. It is really amazing what parents come up with,” Burnette said.

The students were judged by Keep Sevier Beautiful representatives Karen Miller and Lisa Bryant.

The organization is a presence in the schools, educating children on how to keep the county looking great.

“We always talk about litter prevention, the importance of picking up after yourself, leave a place cleaner than you found it,” said Miller.

Miller said this project fits in with their mission of keeping the county beautiful.

“We work on educating our locals and guests to keep Sevier beautiful,” Miller said.

They also have other projects around the county, including planting trees.


News
Fatal single-car accident on Spur
  • Updated

Staff Report

NATIONAL PARK — Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a report of an accident on the Spur at 3:06 a.m. on Sunday, May 2.

Gian Montano Spagnolo, 25, of Venezuela, was traveling south on the Spur when he lost control of his 2008 Nissan sedan near Caney Creek Road. He veered off the roadway and struck multiple trees. Spagnolo succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. He was the only occupant of the vehicle and speed is believed to be a contributing factor in the accident, according to park officials.

Pigeon Forge Fire Department, Pigeon Forge Police Department, Sevier County Ambulance, and the Sevier County Medical Examiner’s Office responded and assisted on scene. Spagnolo was transported by the Sevier County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Spagnolo was currently living and working in Sevier County. No additional details are available at this time.


News
Gatlinburg considers downtown corridor traffic mobility study
  • Updated

By Cindy Simpson

GATLINBURG — The Gatlinburg City Commission will consider an agreement with Cannon and Cannon, consulting engineers, for a downtown corridor traffic and pedestrian mobility study.

“The Traffic and Pedestrian Mobility Study item on Tuesday’s agenda, if approved, will examine nine intersections throughout the City in the downtown corridor,” public information officer Seth Butler said.

“Those nine intersections are on Parkway at Traffic Lights #1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10, along with River Road/Maples Lane, River Road/Leconte Street and River Road/Ski Mountain Road. The study also includes a peer review of recently implemented intersection improvements at Lights 3, 5 and 6.”

Butler noted the high volume of traffic Gatlinburg has experienced following the economic reopening of the area after the COVID-19 pandemic related closures.

“As you are aware traffic volumes have been unprecedented in Gatlinburg and Sevier County since the economic reopening last Summer. If approved, this study would seek to make recommendations on how better to move vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the downtown area,” Butler said.

“Also as part of the study, traffic projections for 10 years in the future will also be done to help develop long-term recommendations. The proposed study is in the amount of $91,500.”

The city will also consider change orders involving the Mynatt Park ADA Accessibility Project.

A change order of $140,975 by Whaley Construction is focused on the installation of a retaining wall at the basketball court, installation of handrails with integrated LED lighting, and replacement of curbing in parking lots.

The Lose and Associates change order is in regards to engineering services for the retaining wall. It is in the amount of $4,500.


News
Cause of fatal fire undetermined
  • Updated

SEVIERVILLE — Investigators are still looking into the cause of a fire that resulted in a death Saturday evening.

The fire at 1681 Turtle Dove Court was reported about 8:20 p.m. Saturday, Sevierville spokesman Bob Stahlke said.

An adult male who was inside the home died as a result of the fire.

The Sevierville Fire Department responded to the fire and the city’s fire marshal is investigating the cause.

No further information was available Monday.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress


News
'Maybe this will get me to detox'
  • Updated

SEVIERVILLE — A Sevierville man reportedly said “maybe this will get me to detox” in front of Sevier County Sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly struck a motorcyclist on Dolly Parton Parkway and then led deputies on a high speed chase Sunday.

George Raymond Millington, 43, of 1813 Country Meadows Drive, was being held Monday at the Sevier County Jail after he injured two people and then left the scene of the wreck and drove erratically with a Sevier County Sheriff’s deputy in pursuit.

Deputy Mark Hunter followed Millington to his home, where he said Millington appeared intoxicated and unable to understand his commands.

“George made several spontaneous statements that his blood was going to show drugs and he was not going to pass (a blood test),” Hunter said.

“He also uttered ‘maybe this will get me to detox.’ ”

Millington was reportedly pulling out of the Burger King on Dolly Parton Parkway Sunday afternoon when he struck a motorcycle and injured two people.

Reports indicate that Larry Sealey, 50, of Lumberton, Nebraska, was operating the motorcycle and Charlyn Diane Sealey, 47, also of Lumberton, was riding with him.

Warrants indicate the two of them suffered broken bones as a result of the collision. City spokesman Bob Stahlke said they were taken to LeConte Medical Center for treatment.

Millington continued driving into the county, where Hunter spotted him turning onto Old Newport Highway and pursued his car.

“The Mustang was traveling on the wrong side of the road; it was forcing those vehicles off the roadway,” Hunter said.

“The Mustang ran two stop signs and failed to even slow down for them.”

Hunter stayed behind Millington until he pulled into the driveway of his home on Country Meadows Drive.

When they made contact, Millington appeared to have trouble understanding Hunter’s commands and had a white residue around his mouth and watery eyes, according to the report.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress


News
Sevierville man charged in Clarksville slaying
  • Updated

CLARKSVILLE — Police here have charged a man with Sevierville ties with killing another person while they were apparently both staying at a Salvation Army shelter over the weekend.

Corey Daniel Allen gave investigators an address on River Court in Sevierville after he was charged with the murder over the weekend, according to information from the jail.

Clarksville Police say Allen and another man, whose name was not released Monday, stayed at the shelter overnight Sunday.

At some point, police believe Allen killed the second man. Police said they were withholding the name because they had not reached the victim’s next of kin.

They have charged Allen with criminal homicide, according to a press release.

They reported Allen is a transient and didn’t have ties to the area.

The investigation is still ongoing, and police did not release the cause of death or suspected motive Monday.

Allen’s only arrest records in Sevier County General Sessions Court were for two counts of simple possession.

Arrest records indicate Sevierville Police were called to a home on River Garden Court on Oct. 10 over a domestic situation, and while they were there they found that Allen was in possession of prescription pills and a Schedule IV drug.

Those charges have not been resolved.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress


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