Careless drivers leave 2 family members critical in one week
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Wrong-way driving caused an overnight head-on collision on Highway 153. It's the second wrong-way crash in eight days.
The latest happened near the Chickamauga Dam. Chattanooga police say a 32-year-old woman hit a man while driving north in the southbound lanes.
Victim, Kevin Yates, is suffering from life-threatening injuries. Sadly, his family is no stranger to dangerous crashes.
Last week Channel 3 reported Yates' grandfather, Theo Womac, was in a near fatal crash involving a gas cooking grill on Interstate 24. The grill fell off another vehicle causing the crash. Womac was trying to slow down when he hit a car in front of him.
Ty Womac, and his sister, were already at the Erlanger Trauma Center Sunday night with their father. He says he was shocked to learn his nephew was also taken to Erlanger after another crash.
"My dad's in trauma room 12," Womac says. "Now Kevin's in room four."
It's been a rough week for Womac. He's spent many days and nights at the hospital.
"Another irresponsible driver causing accidents," he says. The first blow came Tuesday with the crash that seriously injured his father, then another blow Sunday.
"Her youngest son is in one room, and our dad's in another," Womac says talking about his sister. "She's a strong woman."
The thought of his sister dealing with a father and son in the hospital at the same time brings tears to Womac's eyes.
Sunday morning Womac's nephew, Kevin Yates, was driving home from work on Highway 153. Yates was about to cross the Chickamauga Dam when a Jeep driving northbound in the southbound lane hit him head on.
"Bad luck I guess," he says.
Spray-paint and debris mark the spot where the crash happened near the Access Road exit. Yates was transported to Erlanger with serious injuries.
"His injuries are critical," the uncle says. "He has head injuries."
Chattanooga Police say charges against the woman who hit Yates are pending. They're checking to see if the crash is alcohol related.
"You have to forgive people," Womac says. The family is trying to forgive, despite the fact that irresponsible driving sent their loved ones to the hospital just days apart.
Still, that doesn't stop Womac from sharing a message of caution to drivers. "Be responsible on the road," he says. "If you don't die from drinking and driving somebody else could."