Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a multi-vehicle collision near mile marker 25 on Newfound Gap Road at approximately 3:30pm on Saturday, July 14. The collision involved four vehicles including a Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Chevy Trailblazer and a truck towing a gooseneck flatbed trailer transporting another pickup. The driver of the Kia Sorento, David Crump, 65, of Talking Rock, Ga., was found dead at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the collision.
The truck, driven by Carr’s Automotive Sales and Service, was traveling southbound on Newfound Gap Road Saturday afternoon when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing the trailer to fishtail. The trailer then struck the Chevy Trailblazer, Honda Pilot, and Kia Sorento, all traveling northbound, in the span of half a mile.
In addition to the fatality of the driver of the Kia Sorento, both the female passenger of the Kia Sorento and the female driver of the Chevy Trailblazer were transported by Mountain Area Medical Airlift to Mission Hospital in Asheville. The female driver and two passengers of the Honda Pilot, as well as a female passenger of the pickup truck, were all transported by Harris Regional Hospital ground ambulance to Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva.
Park Rangers, representatives from the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, Cherokee Tribal EMS and Fire, Mountain Area Medical Airlift, and North Carolina Highway Patrol all assisted. Newfound Gap Road re-opened at approximately 11:30pm on Saturday. Visitors are advised that Newfound Gap Road will briefly close again near the scene of the collision for additional investigation and cleanup at a date and time to be determined.