HARRIMAN (WATE) – A driver involved in the deadly wreck in Roane County this week is sharing more about that fateful night. It was a head on collision and the young woman’s boyfriend, who was a passenger in her car, was killed.
Michelle Whittenbarger spoke to WATE 6 On Your Side and said she has a long way to go before she’s fully recovered.
She’s wearing a neck brace and has bumps and bruises all over her body.
“I don’t know what happened. I woke up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and that’s all I know,” said Whittenbarger.
The 23-year-old woman’s memory of the deadly crash is still fuzzy.
She remembers meeting up with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Kaleb Poe, at McDonald’s by Walmart on Highway 27 Tuesday night. They were riding together to his mother’s house in Spring City. What Whittenbarger wouldn’t know is that it would be the last time she would see him.
“I think I’m still shocked. I don’t think I really know that he’s gone yet,” she said.
Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers said 64-year-old Brenda Garnder got into the same lane as Whittenbarger and Poe near the intersection of Highway 27 and Eagle Furnace Road and hit them head on, which caused them to hit another car.
The crash killed Gardner and Poe.
On Thursday, pieces of the deadly wreck were still on the side of the highway. There was also a memorial built for Poe who died in the crash.
THP’s accident report stated Gardner wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Both Poe and Whittenbarger were. hittenbarger said she’s lucky to be alive.
“I mean I owe a lot of it to God to be spiritual because looking at the pictures I shouldn’t have made it,” said Whittenbarger.
WATE 6 On Your Side did try to speak with the family of the other driver who was killed, but could not get in contact with them.
As for the investigation, THP said they’ve requested drug and alcohol tests for both drivers. They expect the results to come out in about eight to twelve weeks.
Whittenbarger also said funeral arrangements are set for Poe. They are having a receiving of friends Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Vaughn’s Funeral Home in Spring City.The funeral service is Saturday at 11 a.m.