Northeast Knoxville residents concerned about safety after 2 pedestrian deaths

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two pedestrians were hit and killed in the same section of Northeast Knoxville on different nights this week and residents are concerned about safety in that area.

Brittany A. Turner, 22, was walking across the road on Rutledge Pike on Monday night when she was hit by a car. Police say the crash was reported around 9 p.m. on Rutledge Pike at the intersection of September Lane, where Turner lived.

Margo Macon, who also lives on September Lane drove up to the scene.

Previous story: Investigators work to identify pedestrian struck, killed in East Knox County crash

“When you go up there and you see someone lying there like that and they’re gone. It was just unnerving for me,” Macon described.

The driver, Justin Kelley, 25, hasn’t been charged. Kelley told officers the rain made it hard for him to see Turner that night. Macon and others say lighting in that area is an issue.

“It’s really hard to see at night. When you have to drive this way, it’s so dark,” Macon said.

“We need a light up there at the intersection,” explained Gwendoline Stewart, who also lives in the area.

Stewart says pedestrians also need to be mindful.

“We see them walking up and down both sides of the road all the time. And the cars may not see them. When it’s raining or snowing, the cars might slide. And someone’s on the side of the road walking, they’re going to get hit.”

A pedestrian was killed Wednesday night on nearby Loves Creek Road, near Buffat Mill Road.

Previous story: Pedestrian killed in Rutledge Pike car crash

“It’s dark at night walking in that area. People are speeding. There’s not much police so people tend to speed in that area,” said Jefferey Minor, owner of Smokin’ J’s BBQ. His business is close to both scenes.

The deaths are a reminder for passengers and drivers to be more cautious.

“Be careful and aware, and slow down,” Macon said.

The Knoxville Police Department says they’re still working to figure out exactly how both incidents played out. In the Loves Creek Road accident, the driver was identified as Adrian Smith. Police say Smith was driving with a revoked license. He will likely face charges when the investigation is complete.

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