Excessive speed on a rain-slickened Lakeshore Road in Grainger County likely was a factor in a crash that claimed the life of a 20-year-old Bean Station man Thursday night, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Austin D. Hannah, who was southbound in a 1993 Honda Civic, traveled off the right side of the roadway and collided with a tree, according to Trooper Zandy Rimer, who reported that Hannah was wearing a seat belt, and there’s no evidence alcohol or drugs played a role in the 10:34 p.m. fatal crash.
A preliminary crash report indicates the “vehicle was traveling too fast for the road conditions.”
Derek Eisentrout, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Morristown, says the rain ceased in that part of Grainger County between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., but the roads certainly would have been wet at the time of the fatal crash.
A passenger Hannah’s car, Darrin Hensley, a 25-year-old Bean Station man, was injured in the crash. Friday afternoon, he was not a patient at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville – the most common destination for seriously injured people – or in hospitals in Morristown or Jefferson City, according to hospital staff members.