JCHS student dies in crash


A 16-year-old Jefferson County girl died Sunday morning in a two-vehicle crash in Jefferson County, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Trooper Erik Raines reported that Makinna Smith died in the crash in the 1600 block of East Highway 25-70 at 9:48 a.m.

Smith, who was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Bolt, was westbound when her auto crossed into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with a 2018 Nissan Rogue driven by Patsy C. Thomas, a 74-year-old Morristown resident, according to Raines.

Following the impact, the teen’s vehicle crossed back into the westbound lane and came to rest on the right side of the roadway. Thomas’ vehicle careened to the right before rolling and coming to rest on its top, according to the crash report.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and Thomas sustained injuries, however, the crash report does not identify the hospital to which she was taken and does not detail the extent of her injuries.

Smith was a junior at Jefferson County High School. She was the daughter of Todd, father, and Kayla Smith, stepmother, and Branda, mother, and T.J. Melinn, stepfather, and according to a social media post, she worked at Sonic Drive-In.

Funeral arrangement for the teen had not been announced in Morristown by late this morning.