Big Ridge crash kills 2 teens - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Big Ridge crash kills 2 teens

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Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) - Tragedy on Big Ridge. Not one, but two teens dead from a crash. A third is in critical condition.  A brother and a sister both under 19-years-old are dead, and another teen is left fighting for his life.

Officials say, early signs point to speed.

"This is the next generation, I was just telling my wife, if it was someone old like I am, it would be bad, but it wouldn't be as bad as these kids," Big Ridge resident Ray Weir lives less than 100 yards from the crash.

He's lived on that stretch of Fairview Road for 15 years.  He's seen almost a dozen of these crashes, and it gets harder every time. 

Three years ago, a crash claimed a life in the same spot. This time 18-year-old Timothy Katafias and his 16-year-old sister fell victim to speed and the dangerous stretch of road.

"It's extremely sad for a police officer to have to go to a family member and tell them their child or husband has died in a traffic accident," said Hamilton County Officer Janice Atkinson.

Hamilton County deputies are not sure who was driving.

Craig Lemay was a third person in the car, he suffered critical injuries and is fighting for his life at Erlanger.

Lemay was the sister's boyfriend, she attended Hixson High School where Principal Christine Couch has set up counseling for her classmates.

"It's just really important that we're here for the students that are grieving to let them share what they're feeling, and let them know it's all right to feel what they're feeling," said Couch.

Back on Fairview Road, neighbors like Weir worry kids are making it a game to get airborne on the hills of the latest fatal crash.

He says he's seen cars in his yard, cars split in two, lives ruined forever.

He says something needs to be done, because it's getting worse.

"The police need to be up here more and trying to stop some of this," said Weir.

Both neighbors and deputies know, you can't stop everyone from speeding. They just ask you do you part, to avoid tragic accidents like this and slow down. We'll keep you updated on Craig Lemay's condition.

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