A 22-year-old Kentucky man died early Saturday morning and three teens were injured a one-vehicle, roll-over crash on Forge Ridge Road in Claiborne County, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Trooper Zandra Rimer identified the deceased as Charles M. Gibbons, who lived in Miracle, Kentucky an unincorporated community in Bell County, approximately 25 miles north of Harrogate.
Rimer reported he believes Gibbons and his three passengers, Christian Helton, an 18-year-old from Middlesboro, along with 16- and 17-year-old boys from Middlesboro, were drinking alcohol prior to the 1:04 a.m. wreck, according to a crash report.
Gibbons, who was driving a 2005 Chevrolet pickup, was eastbound on Forge Ridge Road, approaching the intersection with Patterson Road in a straight stretch of roadway, when he drove off an embankment on the left side of the roadway, according to Rimer.
“At this point, the vehicle went airborne and began to roll multiple times through the intersection of Forge Ridge Road and Patterson Road before coming to rest on its top off the left side of the roadway,” the crash report states.
Neither Gibbons nor his passengers were wearing a seat belt. The trooper reported he believes a restraint device would have saved Gibbons’ life and reduced injuries to the three passengers.
Helton was treated at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The THP withheld the names of the two Middlesboro minors.