Car accident on I-75 claims life, leaves others injured

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By Charlotte Underwood

A fatal car crash on I-75 outside of Jellico left one child dead and several others injured last Thursday.

Crystal P. Smith, 38, of Atlanta, Ga., was traveling on I-75 North, in the left lane, near mile marker 159 when the vehicle traveled sharply to the right, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) report.

Smith allegedly overcorrected, causing the 1996 Isuzu Rodeo SUV to overturn and strike the median barrier wall, according to THP Trooper Mathew Chitwood’s report.

The vehicle then traveled a short distance on the barrier wall before landing on its top in the southbound traffic lanes, the report said.

Though Smith had her seatbelt in use, she was injured.

Five children under the age of 14 were also present in the vehicle. While three of the minors were not injured, four-year-old Symara Smith was killed. Five-year-old Sydney Smith was also injured as well. No child restraint or safety belt was in use for either of the two children, according to THP’s report.

In the officer’s opinion, child restraints and safety belts would have made a difference, the report said.

No drugs or alcohol were related in this accident.