Community rallies around father who lost family

The Cahoon family, Matthew, Sierra and their son Nolan pose for a picture. Sierra and Nolan died Monday when they were struck with a car.

Carson-Newman officials have begun a fund to benefit Matt Cahoon, a C-N assistant athletic trainer, whose wife Sierra, son and unborn child were killed Monday when a driver allegedly purposefully struck them with his car.

Sierra Wilson Cahoon, 30, and her 2-year-old son, Nolan, were reportedly killed instantly in the crash.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce a terrible tragedy within our Carson-Newman family. One of our athletic trainers, Matt Cahoon, lost his wife, Sierra, and his two year old son yesterday afternoon. Our Carson-Newman Athletics and University family are heartbroken of this tragic loss. During this time of need, we are here for Matt and we are here to support the Wilson/Cahoon family,” the university said in a statement. “A fund at the University has been established to benefit the Cahoon family. Those wishing to contribute, may give online to The Randall and Kay O’Brien Benevolent Fund at: www.cn.edu/cahoonfamilyfund. Donations may also be given by calling the University at 865-471-3233.”

Funeral arrangements for Cahoon are expected to be announced this afternoon, according to Melissa Graham, one of the lead pastors at The Avenue Church in Morristown where the Cahoon family attended.

“She had a smile that could light up the room,” Graham said this morning. “She had a deep love of her family. It was an incomprehensible act. Nolan was the most precious little boy. He had a smile just like his mom … just the sweetest child.”

Additionally, there has been a gofundme account created to help fund funeral expenses.

JCPD Detective Capt. Randy Hurley said this morning that the man whose vehicle collided with the woman and her son, 33-year-old Jefferson City resident William David Phillips, will face a third count of first-degree murder.

Initially a witness indicated a passenger in the car had escaped. However, Hurley confirmed that Phillips was the lone occupant of the vehicle.

Phillips allegedly said a voice told him to “kill the meth addicts.” Phillips allegedly reported the voice also told him that the child’s stroller held methamphetamine, according to Detective Sgt. Roland Holt. Phillips is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

Phillips was driving at a high rate of speed on Main Street in Jefferson City when he struck the woman and her son before crashing through a masonry wall.

Phillips is being held without bond.